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Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

BEST PRACTICES AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE ADMINISTRATION OF PANDEMIC RELATED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS PROGRAMS

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) is charged with conducting oversight of pandemic-related spending to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. In May 2021, we engaged MITRE, a not-for-profit federally funded research and development center, to conduct an independent study of lessons learned from the administration of pandemic-related emergency funding for unemployment insurance (UI) benefit programs in a sample of states. The objective of this study was to increase understanding of how states implemented pandemic UI benefit programs and how their...
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 Justice OIG

Review of the Office of Justice Programs’ Administration of CARES Act Funding

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

Acquisition and Grants Workforce Assessment

The CARES Act requires that the PRAC conduct and coordinate oversight of covered funds and the Coronavirus response and support Inspectors General in the oversight of covered funds and the Coronavirus response. The purpose of this review is to assess the resources (staffing, training, IT, oversight, and resources overall) available to the acquisition and grants workforce in their implementation of contracts and grants funded with COVID-19 response funds. The resulting report will meet the requirements outlined in the CARES Act and present an assessment of information obtained during the data call, including any trends, best practices, or challenges.

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Multi-Dipping of Pandemic Response Funds Provided to Tribal Governments

The PRAC and pandemic OIGs identified the possibility of recipients receiving funding from multiple federal programs for the same purpose ( multi-dipping When a recipient receives money from multiple federal sources and uses it for the same purpose, this could be an indication of multi-dipping. ) as a high risk area. This project will focus on funds received by tribal governments, and result in an information brief that identifies programs where multi-dipping When a recipient receives money from multiple federal sources and uses it for the same purpose, this could be an indication of multi-dipping. has occurred in CARES Act programs allowing us to identify and scope the magnitude of the risk.