Sneak Preview: FEMA Seeks Comments on Cost Estimating Format

December 13, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) To encourage participants in the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program to finish projects at or below costs, the agency plans to amend its cost estimating format (CEF) for large work projects to restore permanent infrastructure under the program.

The new CEF Version 2.1 would replace the current CEF Version 2.0. The agency is seeking comments on the proposed new version at Regulations.gov (Docket ID FEMA-2013-0042) through Dec. 2, 2013.

Under the Public Assistance program, FEMA awards grants to state and local governments, Indian tribes and certain private nonprofit organizations to respond to and recover from presidentially-declared emergencies and disasters. Specifically, the program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent restoration of infrastructure. State and local governments generally pass the funds through to subrecipients performing restoration work.

FEMA categorizes debris removal as Category A and emergency protective measures as Category B. Permanent restoration of infrastructure, which FEMA refers to as “permanent work,” includes roads and bridges (Category C); water control facilities (Category D); buildings and equipment (Category E); utilities (Category F); and parks, recreational facilities and other items (Category G). The proposed CEF would provide a uniform method of estimating costs for permanent work projects in categories C through G.

FEMA divides applications for Public Assistance into two groups — large projects and small projects — based on the Consumer Price Index. The current threshold for large projects is $67,500.

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