Audit shows public disaster recovery funds slow
CHATTANOOGA (AP) - The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency knows about a state audit that shows public disaster recovery money is getting paid slowly but a spokesman says the three public assistance employees are working as fast as they can.
The performance audit by the Tennessee Comptroller's Office said TEMA takes an average of 3 months, sometimes longer, to repay local costs for cleanup and repair of public property after a disaster.
TEMA spokesman Jeremy Heidt told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the agency knows there's a hardship on local communities.
The audit said that in fiscal 2011, TEMA handed out about $60 million in disaster relief and homeland security grants.
He said legislators last year authorized new staff but the agency has just begun the hiring process. Some other states are helping.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.