Overview

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) serves as the primary grant-making department within the agency. FEMA administers billions of dollars in funding to provide disaster relief, emergency management, and public safety support for state agencies, local municipalities, and nonprofit organizations nationwide.

 

Role

Rachel Werner served as Task Lead responsible for application budget reviews, financial analysis, standard operating procedures and policy development for FEMA’s full portfolio of grant awards, and led the development of guidelines for specific FEMA grants.

Goal

Support FEMA’s grants office to ensure that the guidelines adhered to applicable Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and DHS requirements, and that department policies demonstrated best practices in grants office administration.

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Achievements

  • Developed standard operating procedures for the grants office, including the template used throughout the agency to ensure contingency requirements
  • Helped create a grants strategic plan to manage flow of information and grants management processes
  • Streamlined budget review process, and created a budget review checklist, considered the agency standard to use for review of these documents pre-award
  • Managed awards administration process for hundreds of grant awards
  • Updated funding opportunity announcements for over ten grant awards

Outcomes

  • Increased standardization of federal government processes, thus increasing capacity to work more strategically utilizing less valuable employee resources in the process.
  • Increased responsiveness to grantees due to federal grants office organizational efficiencies.
  • Grant recipients received timely awards and feedback with minimal need for alterations to original applications.
  • Greater ability for grantees to respond during critical emergency situations that require FEMA grant funds.