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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.

Small Business Administration OIG

SBA Emergency EIDL Grants to Sole Proprietors and Independent Contractors

The Office of Inspector General examined Emergency EIDL grants to sole proprietors and independent contractors from March 29, 2020, until the funds were exhausted just 14 weeks later on July 10. We set out to determine whether the agency complied with its internal policy that set Emergency EIDL grants at $1,000 per employee up to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act mandated maximum amount of $10,000. Using SBA’s data, we found SBA provided $4.5 billion more in Emergency EIDL grants to sole proprietors and independent contractors than they were entitled to receive...

Department of Veterans Affairs OIG

Failure to Mitigate Risk of and Manage a COVID-19 Outbreak at a Community Living Center at VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Illinois

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an inspection at the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Illinois, to determine the validity of allegations, specific to COVID-19 and the Community Living Center (CLC), of failure to observe infection control practices, failure to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19, inconsistent ongoing testing, and failure to notify residents, families, and staff of positive test results. During the inspection, the OIG identified concerns related to leaders’ post-outbreak actions. The OIG substantiated a failure to observe general infection control...

Department of Veterans Affairs OIG

Care Concerns and the Impact of COVID-19 on a Patient at the Fayetteville VA Coastal Health Care System in North Carolina

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a healthcare inspection at the Fayetteville VA Coastal Health Care System in North Carolina to assess concerns related to the quality, coordination, and timeliness of care, and the impact of COVID-19 on a patient with unintentional weight loss who was later diagnosed with oral cancer and died at another VA medical center. The OIG substantiated that the primary care provider and dietitians did not provide quality care to the patient. The primary care provider’s failure to follow-up on an earlier finding and not place an order for a medical test...

Department of Homeland Security OIG

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...

Department of Agriculture OIG

COVID-19—Oversight of the Emergency Food Assistance Program-Interim Report

The objective of our ongoing inspection is to evaluate FNS’ oversight of TEFAP— this report provides interim results on whether FNS identified risks related to the safe and efficient distribution of USDA-food assistance to States during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department of Agriculture OIG

COVID-19—Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Online Purchasing in Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019

OIG reviewed FNS’ controls over the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Department of Veterans Affairs OIG

Deficiencies in COVID-19 Screening and Facility Response for a Patient Who Died at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a healthcare inspection regarding allegations of incompletely screening for COVID-19 and treatment of a patient with serious mental illness who presented for same-day care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (facility). The OIG substantiated that facility staff did not complete the patient’s COVID-19 temperature screening. The OIG substantiated that facility staff failed to medically manage the patient with COVID-19 symptoms, sent the patient to the drive-through testing area without medical evaluation, and did not isolate the patient...

Department of Homeland Security OIG

Violations of Detention Standards at Adams County Correctional Center

During our unannounced inspection of Adams in Natchez, Mississippi, we identified violations of ICE detention standards that threatened the health, safety, and rights of detainees. We made seven recommendations to ICE’s Executive Associate Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) to ensure the New Orleans ERO Field Office overseeing Adams addresses identified issues and ensures facility compliance with relevant detention standards. ICE concurred with all seven recommendations.

Department of Education OIG

Federal Student Aid’s Suspension of Involuntary Collection in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The objective of our review was to evaluate the results of Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) process for suspending involuntary collection and refunding payments involuntarily collected on defaulted Department-held loans in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. We found that FSA suspended administrative wage garnishments and the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) offsets for over 96 percent of the borrowers that FSA collected payments for within 90 days of March 13, 2020, the start of the suspension period. However, as of October 23, 2020, we found that FSA continued to receive administrative...