Monday, September 19, 2005

FEMA Failure Festival...

...and J Bradford DeLong Reputation Memorial is now officially underway:

From the September 16, 1995 Los Angeles Times:

Federal officials said Friday they are putting on hold for a few months some crucial decisions on how much money to give to help repair $2 billion in Northridge earthquake damage at County-USC Medical Center, the UCLA Medical Center and nine other hospitals.

The announcement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that it will not act on the funding until the state makes permanent revisions in its building code prompted new expressions of frustration from state and local officials about federal delays.

....One state official said Friday that making the code permanent could be a 120-day process, putting federal decisions off until early 1996, two years after the earthquake. But the director of the state Office of Emergency Services, Richard Andrews, said he hopes the process can be completed by Nov. 29.

Andrews characterized FEMA officials' decision not to immediately accept emergency code revisions as "bureaucratic pedantry," although he conceded that technically FEMA is within the law.
In Washington, chief FEMA spokesman Morrie Goodman responded: "If we could come in with an open bank and blank checks, we would. But anyone who thinks this is bureaucratic red tape thinks we can operate without laws."

....At the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration, Sandra Davis, chief deputy to County Administrative Officer Sally Reed, expressed disappointment with the new delay.

"This process is taking a lot longer than it should," Davis said. "We've had commitments from FEMA that they would take care of the damaged facilities, and we want to be sure our requests are taken seriously and handled expeditiously."

In three County-USC hospital aid requests previously ruled on by FEMA, the county asked for $273.6 million, and FEMA granted only $23.3 million. The county is appealing those decisions.

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