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PRAC Releases Commissioned Study on Data Gaps that Impact Transparency in Federal Pandemic-Relief Spending

11/19/2020

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) is charged with providing a large and diverse group of stakeholders—the public; their elected representatives in Congress; federal, state, and local governments; the private sector and nonprofit entities—with a transparent accounting of pandemic relief and response funds. 

In August 2020, we engaged MITRE, a not-for-profit federally funded research and development center, to conduct an independent assessment of the extent to which existing federal data is sufficiently comprehensive and accurate to provide transparency into federal pandemic related spending. Through the review, we sought to determine whether gaps exist in the completeness and quality of data currently available to the PRAC and to analyze the impact of any such gaps on our ability to meet CARES Act transparency and oversight requirements. 

As detailed in their report, MITRE confirmed that existing data satisfies a substantial portion of the CARES Act transparency requirements for pandemic relief funds. However, MITRE found 16 key gaps in these existing data sources that may impair the PRAC’s ability to meet all COVID-19-related spending transparency requirements in Sections 15010 and 15011. MITRE identified 13 actions to mitigate these gaps ranging from relatively minor changes to more complex corrective actions that may require policy changes, legislation, or IT system changes. 

We are publishing this report on pandemicoversight.gov to help inform the public, Congress, federal agencies, and other stakeholders about these issues. In the months ahead, the PRAC will continue to work with Executive Branch officials and the Congress in our efforts to close the identified data and transparency gaps.

Read the executive summary of MITRE’s report, Transparency in Pandemic-Related Federal Spending: Report of Alignment and Gaps.

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The PRAC was established by the CARES Act to promote transparency and support independent oversight of the funds provided by the CARES Act and other related emergency spending bills. In addition to its coordination and oversight responsibilities, the PRAC is tasked with supporting efforts to “prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement [and] mitigate major risks that cut across program and agency boundaries.”

If you have additional questions, please contact Lisa Reijula at lisa.reijula@cigie.gov

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