FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS—Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has ruled favorably on the State’s appeal of the Office of Inspector General’s audit findings to recover $987,115 in interest purportedly earned by the State on Hurricane Katrina public assistance funds.
On appeal, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, by and through the Office of Attorney General argued that the agreements between the State and the U.S. Treasury governed these transactions and that these rules had not been fully considered in the previous report. Accordingly, FEMA determined that it would not seek recovery of this amount.
?The initial audit by the OIG didn?t take into consideration certain rules that allow the State to earn interest in this manner,? said Attorney General Hood. ?Once we pointed it out, FEMA agreed not to seek recovery of the money.?
Other findings of the February 2010 DHS-OIG report were settled during the appeal in a cooperative effort between MEMA and FEMA. The Attorney General?s Office was just notified of the findings last week.
This appeal was prosecuted by the Attorney General?s Office on behalf of the State with the assistance of the staff at MEMA, the Office of the State Auditor, State Treasury and the staff of the Department of Finance and Administration.
?This is a great example of what state agencies working together can do,? said Attorney General Hood.