FEMA's Implementation of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, as Amended

Gao ID: 120802 March 15, 1983

GAO presented its views on the implementation of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977. GAO stated that, despite progress since mid-1981, implementation of the act has fallen behind schedule. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is charged with this task, has not carried out several provisions and has missed deadlines on others. However, GAO believes that FEMA should nonetheless continue to be responsible for implementation because of its primary role in the event of a major earthquake and that it would be well advised to establish an interagency mechanism for planning, budgeting, and evaluation to guide Federal agencies participating in the program. Further, FEMA can exercise the authority granted to it under the act and the 1982 Executive Order to establish an operative interagency structure. GAO concluded that continued congressional oversight could provide important encouragement to FEMA and accelerate the agency's efforts to establish a more viable program.

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