FS approved 152 WFM projects on non-Federal lands from May through September 2009, including a project to perform hazardous fuels treatments on non-Federal lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin. FS awarded a $3.6 million Recovery Act grant to the Nevada Fire Safe Council (the Council) to implement this project.
In July 2011, OIG reviewed a hotline complaint alleging that the Council was not conducting a fair and competitive bidding process when hiring contractors to perform the work related to the Recovery Act grant agreement, and that certain bids were being saved for local fire departments, who were charging excessive prices to perform hazardous fuels treatments on non-Federal lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
During OIG’s review of the hotline complaint, OIG found that the Council did not properly account for the grant funds FS awarded, including the $3.6 million Recovery Act grant and also a
$6.2 million non-Recovery Act grant (a total of $9.8 million in Federal funds).