volume, with 33,000 calls received over the course of the year.  FEMA 
personnel in both the regional and the disaster field offices reported that the IT 
help desk at Mount Weather provided excellent support.  The helpdesk 
supports all areas of IT, including dial up access, account access for new 
users, troubleshooting, and remote access.  The views of personnel with whom 
we spoke were substantiated by a client satisfaction survey conducted during 
2004 by the Customer Care Institute, an external firm specializing in customer 
satisfaction surveys.  The response rate was 37 percent, or 302 of the 816 
clients surveyed.  The survey results helped identify current client satisfaction 
levels, as well as establish a benchmark for future surveys.  According to the 
survey, approximately 97 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the 
service that they received from the helpdesk, and 46 percent were extremely 
satisfied. 
Additional IT Guidance and Training Needed   
According to 
Office of Management and Budget Circular A 130
, users of 
federal information resources must have the skills, knowledge, and training to 
manage information resources, enabling the federal government to serve the 
public through automated means.  According to the 
Clinger Cohen Act of 
1996
,
15
 agencies are responsible for ensuring that IT users receive the training 
that they need to do their jobs.  Although EP&R's IT technical support 
personnel responded effectively to system user needs, especially prior to and 
during the Florida disasters, additional guidance and training for system users 
is necessary to ensure that users have the knowledge and information 
necessary to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. 
Specifically, although the EP&R CIO's office maintains up to date systems 
procedure manuals and guidance, such as online job aids, a number of FEMA 
field personnel whom we interviewed were not aware of their existence.  
Unaware of online resources, users relied on out of date manuals or created 
their own individual reference documents: two of the three regions that we 
visited were using out of date, hard copy systems manuals that were still in 
draft format.   
In addition, the online IT manuals only described the procedures necessary to 
complete actions in the systems; they did not contain the business context for 
when and why the procedures would be used.  This information, provided in 
separate manuals created by the program areas, forced system users to refer to 
                                                 
15
 Sections D and E of Public Law 104 106. 
Emergency Preparedness and Response Could Better Integrate Information Technology  
with Incident Response and Recovery 
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