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Hurricane Damage Claims, Inspection Data Private, FEMA Claims

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  1. Freedom of Information
· Story link

· Story link

Even after a federal grand jury in Miami indicted 14 people for filing fraudulent disaster claims after Hurricane Frances last fall, the Federal Emergency Management Agency continued to withhold the names of people who received disaster grants, as well as the names of the contracted inspectors who verified the claims. Wrote South Florida Sun Sentinel Editor Earl Maucker, whose paper raised questions about the claims process last fall, “FEMA officials continue to maintain that those who have applied for relief grants, and those who inspected for damages, have privacy rights that take precedence over the public’s need to know. FEMA won’t even answer how much it paid two firms that did the damage inspections under contract with the federal government.” The information provided only after a FOIA request had so many redactions the documents were valueless. (3/7/05)