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Department of Labor Office of Inspector General Deploys a Pandemic Rapid Response Team

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) budget increased significantly in FY2020, due in large part to additional funding for programs created or augmented due to COVID-19. As the office responsible for overseeing these funds – $400 billion for 2020 – the DOL Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG) created a Pandemic Rapid Response Team to combat fraud, waste, and abuse. What makes this Rapid Response Team unique is its multi-disciplinary approach to oversight. With members from multiple offices across the OIG – Investigations, Audits, Congressional and Public Relations, Legal Services, and Management...
02/08/2021

Economic Impact Payments -- Second Round

The Internal Revenue Service has been sending out the second round of stimulus payments that were part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act of 2021. Some Facts about Stimulus Payments What are the economic impact payments? The stimulus payments are refundable tax credits, which means your next tax bill will be reduced by the amount of the stimulus you receive. For example, if you receive $600 and owe $500 in taxes, the federal government will refund $100 to you. Additionally, you will not pay income taxes on the stimulus, nor will it reduce your tax refund or increase the...
01/26/2021

Don't fall for scammers offering access to a COVID -19 vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration has approved coronavirus vaccines for distribution, and scammers around the world are trying to lure you into falling victim to their fraudulent schemes. Protect yourself and your loved ones from these potential scams. Recognize the red flags: You are asked to pay out of pocket to get a vaccine. You are asked to pay to put your name on a waiting list to get early access to the vaccine. You receive texts, emails, or robocalls asking you for your social security number, banking, or credit card numbers to receive a vaccine or sign up to get a vaccine...
12/21/2020

Coronavirus Relief Fund Spending

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) made $150 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) available to states, eligible local governments, Tribal governments, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories. These prime recipients are spending the money on necessary expenses due to the impact of the pandemic. Follow the money from the prime recipients to their sub-recipients and see a map that shows where the money has been spent. NOTE: We display the data as we receive it, and do not change, alter, or add to it. Here are some important facts: The CRF was established in March 2020...
11/30/2020

Self-Certification Procedures May Increase Fraud Risk in Pandemic Response Programs

Two different pandemic response programs used self-certification by applicants as a primary requirement to determine eligibility and experienced increased fraud due to that requirement. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Labor (DOL) Offices of Inspectors General (OIG) found in recent reports that self-certification is a major fraud risk that cuts across program and agency boundaries. As a result, businesses and individuals may have improperly received pandemic response funds, in effect reducing the total amount of funds available for those businesses and individual...
11/13/2020

Highlights of Our Report to Congress

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) submitted its first-ever Semiannual Report to Congress, covering the period of April 1 to September 30, 2020. The report is required by the CARES Act and summarizes our work since the PRAC was founded in spring 2020. We wrote this report to update Congress on our efforts to promote public transparency and ensure coordinated oversight of $2.6+ trillion in pandemic response spending. The report is a resource for the public, the press, and federal, state, and local policymakers, with information on the PRAC’s structure, our members, our...
10/29/2020

Will You Help Make Our Website Better?

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) recently launched this beta version of PandemicOversight.gov and now, we’re looking for your feedback to help us plan next steps. Why did we launch the site as “beta?” A beta launch gives you, the website’s user, the opportunity to help drive our decisions about new functionalities and enhancements. Are you able to find what you’re looking for? Is information missing from the website that you think is important and would help the public? What do you like, and what can we do better? Help us build the future pandemicoversight.gov. To give us...
10/23/2020

Charged: PPP Scammers

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that more than fifty people have been criminally charged with fraudulently obtaining loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP was created by the CARES Act to provide Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to businesses and other organizations in to order keep workforces employed during the coronavirus pandemic. By the time applications for the PPP loans had closed on August 8, 2020, the DOJ noted, more than 5.2 million loans had been approved for a total of more than $525 billion. The DOJ, with partners from the FBI, the...
09/16/2020

Scam Alert

Beware the fake contact tracers and coronavirus vaccines, and person-in-need-of-help scams. Here are a few pointers to protect yourself from scammers trying to take advantage of you. The Federal Trade Commission has warned that there are bad guys out there pretending to be contact tracers to steal your identity or money. When a real contact tracer calls you, they may ask for your name and address, health information, and the names of places and people you have been in touch with. However, if they ask for money, your social security number, financial information, or immigration status, hang up...
08/29/2020