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Operation and maintenance of the project except for

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operation, and maintenance ofthe project, except for damages due to the fault ornegligence of the United statesor its contractors” (supplemental appropriationsact, 2008).state governments have to pay a share of the costincurred when federal disasterassistance is paid to individuals and businesses.Fema sent bills to louisiana seek-ing the state’s share, but initially resisted stateefforts to audit those bills (Davis,
2006). louisiana’s audit of a random sample of thealmost 290,000 individualsregistered by Fema found that only 88.22 percentof the $1.5 billion in awardswere “made to qualified applicants in the properamount” (louisiana legislativeauditor, 2006b, p. 1). although louisiana may havebeen retaliating against thefederal government’s insinuation of poor stateaccountability elsewhere, it con-firms the difficulty of achieving complete fiscalaccountability and transparencyin a disaster’s aftermath.For costs not covered by Fema, congress respondsto emergencies by targetingmoney to the area through the communityDevelopment Block grant (cDBg)program. in the initial appropriation of December2005, mississippi received $5.1408 ppmr / march 2009billion for housing recovery compared to $6.2billion for louisiana, even though
louisiana had incurred significantly more damagefrom flooding (Walsh, 2007).This disproportionate response was oftenattributed to mississippi’s strongerpolitical standing with the Bush administrationand the republican congress(Dao, 2006; Walsh, 2007; Waugh, 2007). evenafter a subsequent congressionalappropriation (in June 2006), the twosupplemental appropriations totaled $10.4billion for louisiana and $5.5 billion for mississippidespite the finding that the“comparative magnitude of aid” still favoredmississippi (pike, 2007, p. 7).2Just because money is appropriated does nottranslate into quick outlays. By thesecond anniversary of the hurricane, for example,most of the cDBg funding inboth states was allocated but not spent (pike,2007).Federal policymakers called for strongaccountability over the use of federalmoney, given the colorful history of political andlegal misdeeds in louisianain general, and new orleans in particular(shughart, 2006). as soon as federal
dollars started flowing into the disaster area, thefederal and state governmentsassigned auditors to keep track of the money andto investigate allegationsof misuse of aid funds. in a matter of days,however, there were stories ofmultimillion-dollar Fema payments being releasedto several different smalllouisiana jurisdictions with the same vague singlesentence as the only rationale:“extensive response actions to alleviateimmediate threats” (Ballard & millhol-lon, 2005). The governor of louisiana, early on,sought to dispel such concernsby forcefully testifying that she would account forevery penny (pace, 2005).

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