Transcript: Hurricane Sandy press briefing Q&A on preventing FEMA assistance fraud

Transcript: Hurricane Sandy press briefing Q&A on preventing FEMA assistance fraud on Oct. 30, 2012:

Question:
How are you going to prevent widespread fraud in the individual/business program? FEMA has in the past been criticized for that. What are you going to do to prevent it this time?

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate:
Well, we’ve got more fraud control built into that.

And based upon the impacts, we’re going to dispatch what we call ‘Housing Inspectors’ that when people register for FEMA, we’ll go out and we’ll actually verify the pertinent information and verify the residents for the full assistance program.

But also we’re going to be turning on part of the program to help with immediate housing – what we call our ‘Temporary Shelter Assistance Program’.

But again, it’s always based upon trying to get the best information and verify that the individual families in the areas of impact have eligible losses without trying to produce an unfair burden that prevents us from helping people.

…In general, we’re running about 1% [in error rates]. Below that on average through [Hurricane] Isaac and previous storms. But again, we try to work on that as well without preventing our ability to help people.

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