OIG clears provider's irregular procurement of Hurricane Sandy disaster funds

A nursing home decimated by Hurricane Sandy was correct in using $2.8 million in federal disaster funds to repair its building, a government audit found.

New York provided the money in a grant to Bayview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Island Park, NY, for construction and equipment expenses in 2015.

The a 185-bed facility was flooded with 3.5 feet of water during the 2012 storm, destroying the first floor and cement around the property. Storm winds demolished the roof and several windows. Before the grant was awarded to the facility, Bayview used bank loans and other private funds to repair its building. It subsequently deposited grant funds into its operating account.

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act provided $800 million in funding related to Hurricane Sandy. The objective of the report was to determine if Bayview claimed Disaster Relief Act costs that were allowable in accordance with federal requirements; Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General gave the all-clear to the facility.

“Although Bayview did not follow usual federal procurement requirements and did not follow requirements for separately tracking and accounting for all grant expenditures, the costs were allowable as they were incurred before the awarding of the grant and met the purpose of the grant, which was to reimburse Bayview for costs incurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy damages,”  the report states.