WASHINGTON - Former FEMA director Michael Brown was warned weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit that his agency's backlogged computer systems could delay supplies and put personnel at risk during an emergency, according to an audit released Wednesday.
An internal review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's information-sharing system shows it was overwhelmed during the 2004 hurricane season. The audit was released a day after Brown vehemently defended FEMA for the government's dismal response to Katrina, instead blaming state and local officials for poor planning and chaos during the Aug. 29 storm and subsequent flooding.
Blort! My opinion meter pegged with that last bit.
In an Aug. 3 response, Brown and one of his deputies rejected the audit, calling it unacceptable, erroneous and negative.
"The overall tone of the report is negative," wrote FEMA chief information officer Barry C. West in an Aug. 3 letter that Brown initialed.
"We believe this characterization is inaccurate and does not acknowledge the highly performing, well managed and staffed (informational technology) systems supporting FEMA incident response and recovery."
As a computer pro, I need a bit more information to judge what's going on. However, the report mentions "backlogged" systems. That would appear to be a human or human-resources problem, and not one specific to the actual computer systems.