systems; panels, siding, windows, screens, and doors; and all appliances. According to several contractors we interviewed, the number of inspections that an inspector can reasonably complete during the course of 1 day is about 25—-approximately 1 every 20 minutes during an 8-hour work day. This number assumes that the units are in good condition, located fairly close together, and that the inspector does not have to make any repairs or experience any other delays related to occupant issues. However, we identified numerous cases where individual inspectors billed for around 50 inspections during the course of 1 day. In order to complete 50 inspections during an 8 hour work day, these inspectors would have had to perform one inspection every 10 minutes, without factoring in driving time, meals, or restroom breaks. In another case, an inspector claimed to have conducted 80 inspections in 1 day, or the equivalent of 1 inspection every 6 minutes. When we interviewed the contractor, he acknowledged that that were “many problems” with the subcontractor who performed these excessive inspections and he also stated that he fired this subcontractor. At the time of our interview, this contractor had not returned to FEMA any of the payments he received for these inspections.
Case 2: Another MD contractor’s inspectors falsified inspection reports by signing for work they had not completed. Three inspectors employed by this contractor told our investigators that their supervisor asked them to fill out or sign blank inspection forms. According to the inspectors, their supervisor told them that the inspections had actually been performed, but that the paperwork documenting the inspections needed to be redone. However, the inspectors told our investigators that they had not performed the work on any of the inspections. When we spoke with the attorney representing the contractor about these claims, he stated that there were about 30 trailers that were inspected but no documentation had been filled out at the time of the inspection. He then admitted that some inspectors had been asked to recreate this documentation. During the course of our interview with the attorney, he also claimed that FEMA instructed his client to bill for the number of trailers that they had been assigned, regardless of whether an inspection had been performed. None of the other contractors stated that they billed for units assigned instead of work performed. When we asked the contracting officer in charge of the Mississippi MDs about this issue, she told us that a contractor must perform at least one preventative inspection per month on each trailer that it has been assigned in order to submit a valid bill for preventative maintenance.
GAO-08-106 Hurricane Katrina