FEMA IT Problems Not Fixed, Senators Say

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Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Joseph Lieberman, ID-Conn., and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine, sent a letter Tuesday to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying its disaster response system is undermined by its poor information technology management.

The letter comes after a recent report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General dating FEMA’s IT problems back to 2004, though the report also noted some progress has been made in improving FEMA’s IT systems.

“It is critical that FEMA evaluate and account for all of its IT systems so that it may prioritize where improvements are most needed,” Lieberman and Collins said.

Federal News Radio reported that even after the Office of the Chief Information Officer issued guidelines in 2008 requiring the approval of all IT purchases of more than $10,000, the process was not followed.

Lieberman and Collins requested FEMA provide the CIO with investments to guide the agency through its IT investments.

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