H.R. 1679 requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure its ongoing efforts to modernize its grant management system, provide secure online access to applicants, and include robust accessibility and transparency measures. Specifically, FEMA’s modernization efforts shall include an online interface where applicants can complete forms, submit materials and access the status of applications, as well as include mechanisms to eliminate the duplication of benefits and enable the sharing of information among agencies with state and local governments, where appropriate.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 22, 2017.
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of the House passed version is repeated here.)
FEMA Accountability, Modernization and Transparency Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure that the ongoing modernization of the grant systems for the administration of assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act includes:
an online interface for applicants to complete application forms, submit materials, and access the status of applications; mechanisms to eliminate duplication of benefits; and a means of sharing information among agencies and with state, local, and tribal governments to eliminate the need to file multiple applications and speed disaster recovery. FEMA shall deliver the system capabilities in increments or iterations as working components for applicant use.