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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...

Small Business Administration OIG

The Small Business Administration’s Implementation of Recommended Controls and the Economic Aid Act

SBA implemented or initiated action on all the OIG recommendations to strengthen internal controls related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Economic Aid Act continued assistance under the PPP for small businesses financially affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We found SBA implemented the PPP in accordance with the Economic Aid Act with two exceptions. SBA did not 1) require an assessment of affiliation for faith-based organizations which contradicts its internal control procedures and 2) issue guidance regarding farm credit system institutions to ensure requirements...

Department of Labor OIG

The U.S. Department of Labor Complied with The Payment Integrity Information Act for FY 2020, but Reported Unemployment Insurance Information Did Not Represent Total Program Year Expenses

DOL's reported Unemployment Insurance improper payment rate of 9.17 percent is compliant with Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019, it is not representative of total unemployment expenses for program year 2020. This occurred for the following reasons: (1) DOL excluded CARES Act of 2020 because these unemployment payments were not in existence for more than 12 months, and (2) DOL received direction from Office of Management and Budget to utilize the results from the first three quarters of the program year. This allowed state workforce agencies to suspend work on improper payment sampling...