Today, Michael E. Horowitz, Chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), announced the release of the PRAC’s Semiannual Report to Congress. The report covers the period April 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, and is the fifth Semiannual Report to Congress since the PRAC was created in March 2020.
The report updates Congress on our efforts to promote transparency and ensure coordinated oversight of more than $5 trillion in federal pandemic relief funds. It explains how the PRAC is using advanced data analytics to initiate and support investigations with our federal law enforcement taskforce and Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs) partners. In addition, the report highlights improvements to our website such as interactive dashboards that track relief money distributed to local governments, restaurants, and museums.
The report also contains summaries of the 114 oversight reports related to the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic response issued by 26 Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs) during the reporting period. Collectively, these reports made 343 recommendations to improve the federal government’s response to the pandemic. The reports are organized around key insights such as:
- Continued risks of fraud enabled by allowing applicants to self-certify eligibility for benefits;
- Improvements by agencies and oversight entities to use data to assess equity in pandemic relief programs; and
- Challenges monitoring certain types of recipients of relief funds because of how quickly money was distributed.
The report also highlights OIGs’ efforts to pursue criminal fraud investigations in the Paycheck Protection Program, pandemic unemployment insurance programs, and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Combined, these three programs represent more than $1.8 trillion (36 percent) of the more than $5 trillion in pandemic relief funds.
Read the full report to learn more about the PRAC’s achievements during the reporting period.
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.”
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