Transforming the Recovery Into Locally-Led Growth: Federal Contracting in the Post-Disaster Period

Published on October 9, 2019 / Leer en español

In the wake of the devastation resulting from hurricane María, the United States Federal Government mobilized numerous emergency relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Traditionally, Federal disaster response has been thought of as the “silver lining” that stems from a catastrophic event, given the millions of U.S. Government dollars that are pumped into the local economy.

CNE’s 2018 report Transforming the Recovery into Locally-led Growth: Federal Contracting in the Post-Disaster Period examines Federal post-disaster expenditures and the sectors and companies being contracted. Our primary findings suggest that Federal relief and recovery spending in Puerto Rico is mostly being used to contract mainland U.S. firms. Moreover, existing trends signal that local economic development opportunities stemming from post-disaster funding are possibly lower than expected.

Federal Post-María Contracting Monitoring (FPMCM) Dashboard

CNE has developed the FPMCM Dashboard below for users to query on trends regarding federal post-María contracting for reconstruction works in Puerto Rico. The data is downloaded from and is filtered for contracts related to Hurricane María. Click here to view USASpending’s Data Dictionary.

The data for the tables and graphs in the dashboard can be filtered interactively and can be downloaded by users to perform the analysis of their choice. Click on any of the visuals to start filtering and analyzing by selected attributes. Keep in mind that selecting the “keep only” option when clicking on a selected attribute will eliminate all other data from your selection. Selecting the “exclude” option when filtering will eliminate all data related to your selected attribute.

The dashboard is optimized for desktop use. To view it in fullscreen mode, press the icon   in the lower right corner.

You can also download the dataset by clicking on the icon Download  in the lower right corner.

If you have any problems, you can refresh the page to start over, or can address our team with any questions on how to use the dashboard by completing this form.

Visuals in the FPMCM Dashboard include:

  • (1) Table listing US-based companies that received federal contracts for Post-María reconstruction works, the awarding agency, and award total. Companies are ranked by award total.
  • (2) Table listing Puerto Rico-based companies that received federal contracts for Post-María reconstruction works, the awarding agency, and award total. Companies are ranked by award total.
  • (3) Treemap showing the distribution of reconstruction works by industry, as classified by the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. Box sizes reflect total award (larger boxes reflect larger award totals, while smaller boxes reflect smaller award totals) and box color reflect awarding agency (each federal agency has a unique color assigned).
  • (4) Total accumulated Post Hurricane María Federal Expenditures, by Type of Contractor

The following tutorial videos provide an overview of the dashboard elements and explain how to use the platform to filter and download data.


We would like to thank Enrique Figueroa Grillasca for his work in sorting and analyzing Federal expenditure data as a CNE Summer Intern. We would also like to thank Bernhard Kluger, who helped us understand and make sense of the overwhelming details included in the Federal spending data.

This project is an initiative of the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund and is funded by the Ford Foundation and The New York Community Trust – Puerto Rico Relief and Rebuilding Fund of the Partnership for NYC.