Objective: To review the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) telephone services, especially as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Objective: To summarize information about State disability determination services’ (DDS) workloads during the COVID-19 pandemic period of April 2020 to March 2021 and compare it to DDS workloads in prior years.
FEMA Did Not Always Accurately Report COVID-19 Contract Actions in the Federal Procurement Data System
The objective was to determine to what extent FEMA followed Federal and departmental procedures and guidelines for awarding COVID-19 contracts to vendors in unusual and urgent circumstances.
Continued Reliance on Manual Processing Slowed USCIS’ Benefits Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The objective was to determine the effectiveness of USCIS’ technology systems to provide timely and accurate electronic processing of immigration and naturalization benefit requests while field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers were closed or operating on a reduced workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before reopening in June 2020, FLETC developed a formal plan to resume in-person training. Through this plan, along with other policies and procedures, FLETC established protocols in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and medical expertise. DHS students and component officials we spoke with confirmed that these protocols were in place and told us that, overall, they were effective.
The objective was to determine how effectively FEMA supported and coordinated Federal efforts to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We determined that FEMA did not have reliable data to inform allocation decisions and ensure accurate adjudication of resource requests, it did not have a process to allocate the limited supply of PPE, and FEMA’s strategic documents did not clearly outline roles and responsibilities to lead the Federal response. We made three recommendations that FEMA improve the reliability of WebEOC, formally...
The objective of this review was to determine to what extent the Department of Homeland Security has implemented COVID-19 measures for migrants at the southwest border. We reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not conduct COVID-19 testing for migrants who enter CBP custody and is not required to do so. Instead, CBP relies on local public health systems to test symptomatic individuals. According to CBP officials, as a frontline law enforcement agency, it does not have the necessary resources to conduct such testing. For migrants that are transferred or released from CBP...
During our unannounced inspection of Otay Mesa in San Diego, California, we identified violations of ICE detention standards that compromised the health, safety, and rights of detainees. Otay Mesa complied with standards for classification and generally provided sufficient medical care to detainees. In addressing COVID-19, Otay Mesa did not consistently enforce precautions including use of facial coverings and social distancing. Overall, we found that Otay Mesa did not meet standards for grievances, segregation, or staff-detainee communications. Specifically, Otay Mesa did not respond timely...
ICE’s Management of COVID-19 in Its Detention Facilities Provides Lessons Learned for Future Pandemic Responses
ICE has taken various actions to prevent the pandemic’s spread among detainees and staff at their detention facilities. At the nine facilities we remotely inspected, these measures included maintaining adequate supplies of PPE such as face masks, enhanced cleaning, and proper screening for new detainees and staff. However, we found other areas in which detention facilities struggled to properly manage the health and safety of detainees. For example, we observed instances where staff and detainees did not consistently wear face masks or socially distance. In addition, we noted that some...
CBP Needs to Strengthen Its Oversight and Policy to Better Care for Migrants Needing Medical Attention
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) needs better oversight and policy to adequately safeguard migrants experiencing medical emergencies or illnesses along the southwest border. CBP concurred with all three of our recommendations, which when implemented, should improve medical attention and procedures for migrants at the southwest border