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S. 709: Disaster Assistance Improvement Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 23, 2017.


Disaster Assistance Improvement Act of 2017

This bill amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to prohibit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from taking administrative action to recover any payment made to a state or local government for disaster or emergency assistance initiated in any forum (with exceptions for fraud) after three years following the transmission of the final expenditure report for project completion, as certified by the grantee (currently, after three years following the transmission of the final expenditure report for the disaster or emergency).

The bill makes the same change with respect to the deadline: (1) for any dispute arising under such Act for which there shall be a presumption that accounting records were maintained that adequately identify the source and application of funds provided for financially assisted activities, and (2) by which the inability of the government to produce source documentation supporting expenditure reports shall not constitute evidence to rebut such presumption.

With respect to a payment for disaster or emergency assistance provided to a state or local government on or after January 1, 2004, FEMA may not take administrative action to recover such payment after the date of enactment of this bill if the action is prohibited under such Act as amended by this bill.