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Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

MITRE Research Study - Identity Fraud Victim Redress Study

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) is initiating a study to identify fraud victim redress processes and systems to propose a U.S. model for government benefit programs. We will be conducting this study with the assistance of MITRE, a federally funded research and development corporation. We have coordinated this project with the Chair of the PRAC’s Identity Fraud Reduction Redress Working Group, which includes several Offices of Inspectors General. We will be conducting this project under the authorities found in Section 15010 of the CARES Act.  

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Personnel Shortages for Federal Health Care Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Personnel supporting Federal health care programs are a resource critical to the Federal COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. Health care facilities must be prepared for potential personnel shortages and must have plans and processes in place to mitigate these shortages to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics. The PRAC will coordinate a review of four Federal health care programs to determine whether these programs, or the providers they reimburse, experienced shortages in health care personnel during the pandemic, the impact of those health care personnel shortages, and strategies used by the Departments to reduce shortages of health care personnel for future pandemics.

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Key Insights: Identity Fraud Reduction and Redress in Pandemic Response Programs

This Insights Report highlights identity fraud related challenges in federal programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. By evaluating previous oversight work in this space from members of the PRAC’s Identity Fraud Reduction and Redress Working Group, this report presents best practices to reduce identity fraud before it occurs and to assist victims of identity fraud if it does occur. These best practices may be helpful for federal agencies to utilize moving forward. This report also identifies that across the federal government there is a larger focus on reducing identity fraud up front, while...
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

Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program Phase III Fraud Controls

The PRAC examined whether the Small Business Administration (SBA) Phase III fraud controls, which were applied to process Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2021, would have likely detected the earlier fraud found in PPP criminal cases. SBA designed the PPP Phase III controls to address significant fraud identified in the earlier phases of the program and some were later used by the SBA in its Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program.
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...
Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Telehealth Services in Select Federal Health Care Programs

Throughout the pandemic, the use of telehealth has been critically important to ensure continued and expanded access to care while reducing the risks of exposure and spread of COVID-19.  As the effects of the pandemic are still being felt throughout the Nation, there are questions about how telehealth can best be used to meet the needs of beneficiaries in the future. The PRAC will conduct and coordinate a review of six Federal healthcare programs to identify the nature of telehealth across these programs and to identify any potential integrity risks associated with telehealth programs and the facilitation of telehealth care.
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...