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Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Key Insights: State Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Programs

This insights report provides a contextual understanding of the cross-cutting challenges states faced within their unemployment insurance (UI) programs and highlights the substantial work that has been done by State Auditors to ensure their states’ UI programs are functioning effectively. This report examines four common insights across 16 State Auditor Offices: (1) UI workloads surged for states; (2) the claims surge exploited internal control weaknesses; (3) uncommon and varying fraud schemes began to occur as the amount of federal funding expanded; and (4) state workforce agencies...

Department of Transportation OIG

FTA Does Not Effectively Assess Security Controls or Remediate Cybersecurity Weaknesses To Ensure the Proper Safeguards Are in Place To Protect Its Financial Management Systems

What We Looked At The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 set up appropriations to support executive agency operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has received nearly $70 billion in CARES Act and other COVID-19 relief appropriations. FTA uses several financial management systems to approve, process, and disperse this funding for the transit industry’s COVID-19 response and recovery. Given the size of this investment, we initiated this audit. Our audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of FTA’s financial...

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Increasing Transparency into COVID-19 Spending

The objective of this review was to identify specific gaps in transparency in award data for federal assistance spending in response to COVID-19. We looked at 51,000 awards worth $347 billion that supported the pandemic response (as of June 15, 2021). The report includes three findings, including we found more than 15,400 awards worth $33 billion with meaningless descriptions that make it difficult to know how COVID-19 relief money was used. The report includes five recommendations to help improve the transparency into COVID-19 relief spending.

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Observations: Fiscal Year 2020 COVID-19 Federal Contracting

The PRAC’s objective was to review pandemic-related federal contracts and identify first-time contractors and contracts awarded without competitive bidding. We found that first-time federal contractors received $4.4 billion worth of pandemic contracts in Fiscal Year 2020 and that $128 million was deobligated from contracts with first-time federal contractors during the same period. Additionally, we identified the four most common flexibilities identified to justify limited competition were urgency, only one source, simplified acquisition procedures, and authorized by statute. Of these, we...

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Key Insights: COVID-19 in Correctional and Detention Facilities

Correctional and detention facilities present unique challenges in preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19. When compared to the general population, a disproportionate number of COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths occur in jails, prisons, and detention facilities across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that the confined nature of correctional and detention facilities, combined with their congregate environments, heightens the potential for COVID-19 to spread once introduced into a facility. Individuals typically eat, sleep, and participate in activities...

Department of Transportation OIG

Memorandum to the Secretary: Key Potential Risk Areas for the Department of Transportation in Overseeing CARES Act Requirements

Implementing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is among the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) highest priorities in this time of national emergency. The CARES Act provides DOT with over $36 billion to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 across all modes of transportation. To its credit, DOT swiftly distributed these funds and has begun implementing the Act’s requirements to provide much-needed relief to American workers, families, and businesses. As the Department is aware, the volume of CARES Act funds and the speed with which the funds have been...