Disaster Recovery Funds and Faith Based Initiatives: A Multiple Streams Theory Case Study of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
Fussell, Natalie Kathleen
This dissertation explores the passage of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA) through John Kingdon’s (2003) Multiple Streams Theory. A policy analysis of the FFATA was conducted adapting Bardach’s Eightfold Path to Effective Problem Solving (2005) to explore the effectiveness of the FFATA. The dissertation focused on the attempt of the FFATA to account for the acceptable disbursement and use of disaster recovery payments and the ability of faith based initiatives to provide relief without compromising the separation of church and state principle through a coupling event. Additionally, this research sought to determine if faith based initiatives created a greater risk in awarding Stafford Act’s Public Assistance Grant Funds in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The study found the FFATA is not successfully meeting its goals and objectives in disaster recovery situations as it relates to Public Assistance Grants after Katrina because it fails to trace federal funding to the actual recipient of the grant. To determine if faith based initiatives created a greater risk in awarding Public Assistance Grant Funds after Katrina, 75 reports published by Office of Inspector General on Hurricane Katrina were reviewed to determine which types of compliance issues auditors have found with entities receiving federal funding under this grant program. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analysis and document analysis was performed on the collected data. Data showed that public entities have a higher percentage of questioned costs in comparison to faith based organizations. Content analysis revealed that 100 percent of public entities still spent the money on some other public purpose, but not necessarily a disaster-related purpose as required by federal rules specific to the PA Grant Program. Faith based organizations were more likely to have a violation of federal rules where the money ultimately was not traceable, indicating a greater risk of faith based organizations to violate the separation of church and state principle.