Analysis of First Responder Grant Funding   [open pdf - 440KB]

"At the direction of Chairman Cox and Subcommittee Chairman Shadegg, Committee staff undertook a review to determine: (1) whether DHS was making its terrorism preparedness grant funds available to States in a timely and effective manner; (2) how DHS terrorism preparedness grants were being allocated by States among their internal jurisdictions, and how quickly; (3) how these grants were being utilized by States and localities; and (4) the reasons for any delay in expenditures of these funds by state and local recipients. Based on a review of the grant data and other information collected, Committee staff found that: 1) DHS awarded homeland security grant funds to States reasonably quickly, but without any real assessment of need or risk (except for the Urban Area Security Initiative). 2) Almost one-third of all States allocated money among their internal jurisdictions without regard to need or risk (other than population), and those that applied risk or need factors did not follow any standard approach to doing so. 3) There were no Federal terrorism preparedness standards or goals to guide expenditure of funds at the state and local levels, leading to numerous examples of questionable spending. 4) Only a very small portion of awarded funds has been utilized to date by state and local recipients. Committee staff found a myriad of explanations for this delay, but identified four common causes: planning to spend the grant, which often occurred late in the grant process, after the grant was awarded and obligated to localities; obtaining local board approval of grant spending; fulfilling state and local procurement regulations; and setting aside funds that could be used to purchase equipment while waiting for reimbursement from DHS."

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