Audit: Weak FEMA Response Symptomatic of Homeland Security Woes

WASHINGTON -- An internal Homeland Security report is calling weaknesses in the Federal Emergency Management Agency one of the department's top concerns.

The department's inspector general's report gives FEMA low marks in distributing aid to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It also faults the agency in maintaining emergency response information systems, modernizing flood maps, and managing contracts and grants.

Inspector General Richard Skinner says the circumstances created by the hurricanes provide an unprecedented opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse. Skinner is calling for better oversight.

A Homeland Security spokesman says reforming FEMA is one of the agency's "greatest and most urgent priorities."

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