"It is likely that in some heavily damaged parts of New Orleans redevelopment will be restricted, either temporarily, or even permanently. The possibility of such restrictions immediately gives rise to the following question: Will restrictions on development in New Orleans effect compensable regulatory takings under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? In this paper, we try to answer that question, or to at least provide a framework for answering it. We conclude, although cautiously, that it is more likely than not that temporary restrictions will not effect compensable takings because property owners still have economically valuable interests, while it is more likely than not that permanent restrictions will result in compensable takings because of owner expectations and a lack of reciprocity of advantage.
"We have three primary goals. First, we summarize the proposal for redevelopment which explicitly allows for the possibility of moratoria on redevelopment in certain neighborhoods. Second, we situate the current case law on this issue within the larger context of takings jurisprudence. Understanding the courts' trends on this issue, if any are discernible, will be indispensable in trying to get a sense of how courts would rule in litigation that might arise out of regulating redevelopment in New Orleans. Third, we give an analysis of how current holdings on takings issues might apply to the situation in New Orleans. Because of the complexity of takings jurisprudence, and because of the somewhat unusual nature of the situation in New Orleans, it is difficult to make a confident prediction about how such claims would come out."—Abstract.
For fifteen months following Hurricane Katrina, The Center for Public Integrity highlighted the best coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath and tracked government contracts awarded for cleanup and reconstruction. "The Katrina Watch project presents original reports by the Center for Public Integrity and an archive of links to information culled from media and government Web sites." -Center for Public Integrit, Katrina Watch
"Hurricane Katrina not only devastated a large area of the nation's Gulf coast, it also raised fundamental questions about ways the nation can, and should, deal with the inevitable problems of economic risk and social responsibility. This volume gathers leading experts to examine lessons that Hurricane Katrina teaches us about better assessing, perceiving, and managing risks from future disasters.
"In the years ahead we will inevitably face more problems like those caused by Katrina, from fire, earthquake, or even a flu pandemic. America remains in the cross hairs of terrorists, while policy makers continue to grapple with important environmental and health risks. Each of these scenarios might, in itself, be relatively unlikely to occur. But it is statistically certain that we will confront such catastrophes, or perhaps one we have never imagined, and the nation and its citizenry must be prepared to act. That is the fundamental lesson of Katrina.
"The 20 contributors to this volume address questions of public and private roles in assessing, managing, and dealing with risk in American society and suggest strategies for moving ahead in rebuilding the Gulf coast."
"In the two years since Hurricane Katrina, the federal government has provided more than $114 billion in aid. But walk the streets of the Gulf Coast, and you might wonder where all that money has gone."
The legal publisher BNA makes its Web Watch available for free. This posting includes links to federal government hearings and panels, as well as NGO publications. Despite the title of the posting, many of the resources cover issues beyond contract fraud.
Dr. Robert Hartwig, president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, testified at a hearing before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Wednesday, February 28, 2007. The hearing focused on insurance issues affecting residents of the Gulf Coast as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Links to testimony transcript available in PDF and Word Formats.
"This symposium provides a forum for scholars to begin conceptualizing a new field of legal scholarship devoted to catastrophic risks. It is hard to think of anything equally important that has received so little sustained attention from lawyers and law professors. Hurricane Katrina involved over a thousand deaths and $100 billion in losses. There is no reason to consider Katrina the 'worst case scenario.' Yet, scholars have not yet systematically addressed the legal and policy issues posed by major disasters. Ultimately, the goal should be assembling the best portfolio of social policies, institutions, and legal rules to deal with catastrophic risks—a portfolio that includes prevention measures, mitigation incentives, emergency response strategies, liability rules, insurance, and reconstruction planning. In this symposium, papers by legal scholars and policy analysts will address these as well as other issues relating to this critically important subject."—Dan Farber, Editor, Introduction. Access to this bepress journal requires a subscription.
"The allegation that Southwest Charter Lines Inc. intentionally over-billed FEMA is not substantiated. We concluded that the alleged over-billing was unintentional. However, during this review, there were issues of concern regarding internal controls and billing errors for items such as overtime and delivery charges, which were not allowed under the contract."
"This preliminary report on the institutional donor response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita is based on information provided by foundation, corporate, and other institutional donors via press releases, Web postings, and other public announcements."—Sources of Data.
"The Natural Hazards Review stands on the realization that natural disaster losses result from interactions between the physical world, the constructed environment, and the character of the societies and people who occupy them. The journal is dedicated to bringing together the physical, social, and behavioral sciences; engineering; and the regulatory and policy environments to provide a forum for cutting edge, holistic, and cross-disciplinary approaches to natural hazards loss and cost reduction.... Social and behavioral sciences topics addressed include a range of issues related to hazard mitigation and human response as well as significant issues related to the built environment such as land use, building standards, and the role of financial markets and insurance."—Aim and Scope.
"The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government today released a report on federal funding in response to the 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Spending Federal Disaster Aid is an analysis of two major types of aid being used for reconstruction and economic recovery. This analysis of FEMA Public Assistance (PA) grants and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) demonstrates many of the intergovernmental challenges and problems federal, state, and local officials face as they navigate through the stops and starts of the two-year-old recovery effort toward long-term stability for the region."—Press release (September 17, 2007)
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting requested a review on the administration of the ice delivery process between International American Products, Worldwide Services and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Specifically, we limited our review to only the administration of the ice delivery process during the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. The report also addresses other matters identified during our review of the administration of the 2003 ice delivery contract. We issued DoD Inspector General Report No. 2006-116, 'Ice Delivery Contracts Between International American Products, Worldwide Services and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,' on September 26, 2006. That report addressed Congressman Bennie Thompson's concerns on the award of the ice delivery contracts between International American Products, Worldwide Services and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This report addresses the administration of the 2003 ice delivery contract related to the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort....
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District did not effectively administer the 2003 ice delivery contract for the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. The Corps Charleston District did not provide adequate training and guidance for invoice processing over the National Ice/Water Mission. They made inaccurate or inadequately supported payments on 142 of the 342 invoices received in the amount of about $262,000."—Executive Summary.
"Results. USACE reporting of obligations related to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts was not always timely and efficient. Specifically, USACE did not make timely updates to the Corps of Engineers Financial Management System or perform timely closeouts of mission assignments. USACE also did not reconcile mission assignments and corresponding amendments with FEMA and did not track all funding from Congress. As a result, USACE increased the risk of not accurately reporting obligations and expenditures. (See the Finding section of the report for the detailed recommendations.)"—Executive Summary.
"In February 2006, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) appropriated $2 billion for certain health care costs related to Hurricane Katrina through Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was charged with allocating the $2 billion in funding to states directly affected by the hurricane or that hosted evacuees.
"GAO performed this work under the Comptroller General's statutory authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative. In this report, GAO examined: (1) how CMS allocated the DRA funds to states, (2) the extent to which states have used DRA funds, and (3) whether selected states—Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas—anticipate the need for additional funds after DRA funds are expended."—Why GAO Did this Study.
"Hurricanes Katrina and Rita wreaked havoc on small businesses in the Gulf Coast, and much federal assistance has been provided to help these businesses. GAO was asked to describe (1) the amount of assistance provided to Gulf Coast small businesses through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster and Gulf Opportunity (GO) loans, state-administered business assistance programs funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program; (2) the extent to which Gulf Coast small businesses received federal contract funds; and (3) the current state of and improvements in the region’s economy. GAO analyzed data on SBA and EDA loans and states’ use of supplemental CDBG appropriations, data on prime and subcontracts awarded for hurricane recovery activities, and economic indicators both before and after the hurricanes."—Why GAO Did This Study.