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FEMA’s Reported Payment Process Requires Review of Invoices and Supporting Documentation

As shown in figure 2, FEMA’s payment process is well designed and, if followed, provides reasonable assurance that payments are being made for work actually performed.

Figure 2: FEMA’s Reported Invoice Approval and Payment Process

Invoice is rejected and returned to contractor for correction

INVOICE

OICE

Invoice

Accuracy

submitted

check

Contractor submits invoice to the FEMA Disaster Finance Center (DFC), FEMA Contracting Officer, the Individual Assistance-Technical Assistance Contracts Program Management Office, and the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR)

COTR reviews accuracy of calculations, contract line item number (CLIN), and cost per unit

Yes

Does COTR find errors?

No

Random sample of CLIN

COTR conducts random sample of barcodes to check invoice against supporting documentation

Does COTR find errors?

No

Yes

100% invoice check

COTR checks 100% of invoices associated with CLIN

$130,450.98 $80,885.32 $80,885.32 $65,500.50

, 00.00 $18,480.67 $34,334.64

$58,500.00 $78,896.88 $130,400.00 $38,900.20 $63,250.56

INVOICE

Duplicate billing check

Deactivation check

Receiving report

FEMA DFC

COTR checks for duplicate billing and declines both charges if duplicate billing is found

COTR checks work performed against list of deactivations and disallows charges for work performed on deactivated trailers

COTR prepares receiving report listing what charges have been allowed or disallowed with explanations, and sends report to contractor and program management office with responsibility for that contractor

Receiving report sent to and processed by the DFC, which sends a payment request to the Department of the Treasury

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data.

Invoice paid

Treasury pays contractor amount stipulated by DFC

As detailed in the figure, the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) is supposed to check the accuracy of both the contractors’ calculations and the supporting documentation associated with a “random sample” of barcodes. If the COTR finds any errors as a result of this sample, he or she must conduct accuracy checks on all of the

Page 18

GAO-08-106 Hurricane Katrina

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