According to the Tallahassee Democrat, a federal judge will decide on Oct. 7 whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency should disclose the names and addresses of those who received nearly $5.3 billion in payments after last year’s hurricanes.
A group of newspapers filed suit after FEMA refused to disclose that information. FEMA claims that it is a privacy issue.
The newspapers want the information because there have been reports of fraudulent claims and excessive payments.
A Houston man has been charged with lying to FEMA about being a resident of New Orleans and requesting $2000 in funds.
Obviously there were problems with last year’s payments because FEMA is asking Floridians to return $30.3 million in emergency hurricane aid.
This money is being requested from people who were repaid by insurance companies as well.
Many families are currently homeless, without jobs or without the family members who had the skills necessary for employment.
We cannot trust FEMA to regulate itself. We need to find out what needs to be fixed now, before we make the same mistakes with this year’s hurricanes.
Although the disclosure of payment information would expose some people’s financial information, it seems necessary to ensure that FEMA officials are doing a competent job.
We need to know how well FEMA is
FEMA certainly dropped the ball with recovery efforts, and now is its chance to redeem itself by doing an accurate and competent job of addressing payment disbursal.