April 3, 2020
The Honorable Chad Wolf
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
The Honorable Pete Gaynor
Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20472
Dear Acting Secretary Wolf and Administrator Gaynor:
On behalf of our collective associations, we write to you regarding your agency’s recent notice of funding opportunity for fiscal year 2020 preparedness grants, specifically regarding the new requirements on how grantees must obligate 20 percent of grant funds. Given the challenges we all face as a nation in responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we urgently request you delay the implementation of these requirements for one year.
We believe an extension will allow all of us to focus our efforts on combating the spread and severity of COVID-19. Additionally, a delay will provide an opportunity to better work together across all levels of government to narrow the gap in national terrorism prevention.
While we agree with the focus on the core priorities defined by the Department, a one-year delay will help address concerns raised by grantees regarding the need for long-range planning to ensure these grants are spent responsibly, efficiently, and in line with the priorities of their state and region. It will also afford time for your agencies to clarify those metrics utilized to evaluate the “anticipated effectiveness” of project applications to determine funding amounts.
We believe a one-year delay in these new requirements will provide much needed time for us to work together in addressing national, state, and local priorities. It will also strengthen the implementation and effectiveness of funding investments.
We believe in the strong partnership between states, localities, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency. We appreciate your swift action on our request and look forward to working with you to address your vision for fiscal year 2021 implementation.
National Governors Association
Government Finance Officers Association
Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council
International City/County Management Association
International Association of Emergency Managers
National Association of Counties
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Emergency Management Association
National League of Cities
The Council of State Governments
United States Conference of Mayors