GLO PRESS RELEASE — Jul 31, 2018
AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush applauded his team for their outstanding performance in achieving a "no findings" result in a recent audit of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procurement and accounting requirements from the Hurricane Harvey direct housing response. While a "no findings" audit is extremely rare, the outcome is especially remarkable as it was achieved by the first state agency ever to be tasked with partnering with FEMA in the implementation of disaster housing assistance programs for the most devastating storm to strike Texas in generations.
"The Texas General Land Office is proud of its efforts to deliver disaster housing recovery assistance faster and more effectively in response to Hurricane Harvey - with new programs never offered previously - through a historic partnership with FEMA," said Commissioner Bush. "To be the first state agency tasked with this challenging mission and manage to deliver such an impeccable audit in its administration for taxpayer funds is extraordinary. Not only did this exceptional team work tirelessly each day since Harvey made landfall to help their fellow Texans, they showed meticulousness and expertise with prudent management of taxpayer dollars. I am tremendously proud of this accomplishment."
The audit performed by FEMA examined the GLO's administration of the temporary housing program, which involved coordination at the federal, state, and local level. Hurricane Harvey is one of the costliest storms to ever hit the U.S. and cause devastation in at least 49 counties. Due to the size of the recovery mission, Governor Greg Abbott tapped the GLO with being be the first state agency to ever partner with FEMA on a short-term housing recovery mission in response to a natural disaster. Thanks largely to the oversight of the GLO accounting team, the agency received a report of "no findings", meaning the program was in full compliance with federal financial guidelines - a result rarely achieved by government programs.
"I want to congratulate my team for not only being dedicated to helping Hurricane Harvey survivors get on the road to recovery, but being diligent in protecting and tracking taxpayer dollars," said Pete Phillips, Senior Director for Community Development and Revitalization, the program area responsible for the direct housing mission. "This audit highlights the monumental accounting task the GLO took on immediately following our designation as the short-term housing agency. The unsung heroes in accounting, audits, purchasing, contracts, technology and other areas do important work tracking funds in voluminous databases that is essential to the recovery process, yet are rarely recognized for their exceptional efforts."
About GLO Community Development and Revitalization (CDR)
In addition to short-term housing in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the CDR division of the Texas General Land Office administers the Housing and Urban Development CDBG-DR on behalf of the state of Texas. More than $9 billion have been allocated for recovery following Hurricanes Rita, Dolly, and Ike, the 2011 wildfires, the 2015 and 2016 floods and Hurricane Harvey. These grants can be used for a wide variety of activities including housing redevelopment, infrastructure repair and long-term planning. For more information, please visit TexasRebuilds.org.