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U.S. Postal Service OIG

Package Delivery in Rural and Dense Urban Areas

In 2019, carriers delivered nearly 6 billion packages to every corner of America—more than 19 million every day. This represents an 87 percent increase in the U.S. Postal Service’s package volume since 2013, driven by booming ecommerce sales.
Department of Education OIG

Challenges for Consideration in Implementing and Overseeing the CARES Act

This management information report provides the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) perspective on challenges the U.S. Department of Education (Department) may face as it implements and oversees the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In preparing this report, we reviewed recent audit work performed by OIG and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as well as OIG’s annual Management Challenges reports. We also reviewed challenges that the Department faced when administering education-related grant programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), to include how the challenges were addressed and what lessons were noted as needing to be considered in the event that legislation providing a large yet temporary funding increase for new or existing programs (like the Recovery Act) was enacted in the future. We identified challenges related to grantee oversight and monitoring, student financial assistance oversight and monitoring, and data quality and reporting that the Department should consider as it implements and oversees the CARES Act.
U.S. Postal Service OIG

The U.S. Postal Service and Emergency Response: A History of Delivering for the American Public

The U.S. Postal Service has a formal role in the federal National Response Framework, which guides the country’s response to disasters and emergencies like hurricanes, bioterrorism, pandemics and other incidents. The OIG examined how the Postal Service continues to support the American public during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, even as the outbreak affects postal operations. The Postal Service has delivered essential items like prescriptions, unemployment benefit and stimulus payments, personal protective equipment, and coronavirus test kits. The Postal Service also has provided a backbone for the surge in ecommerce as more consumers buy household goods online. Ensuring the continuation of mail service during this challenging time is helping to keep the American public stay safe, secure, and connected.
Department of Homeland Security OIG

Early Experiences with COVID-19 at Border Patrol Stations and OFO Ports of Entry

o We surveyed staff at Border Patrol stations and OFO ports of entry from April 22, 2020 to May 1, 2020. The 136 Border Patrol stations and 307 OFO ports of entry that responded to our survey described various actions they have taken to prevent and mitigate the pandemic’s spread among travelers, detained individuals, and staff. These actions include increased cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, and having personal protective equipment for staff, as well as supplies available to those individuals with whom they come into contact. However, facilities reported concerns with their inability to practice social distancing and the risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to the close-contact nature of their work. Regarding staffing, facilities reported decreases in current staff availability due to COVID-19, but have contingency plans in place to ensure continued operations. The facilities expressed concerns regarding staff availability, however, if there were an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility. Overall, the majority of respondents reported that their facilities were prepared to address COVID-19
Department of the Interior OIG

Bureau of Indian Affairs Funding Snapshot

Department of Veterans Affairs OIG

Appointment Management During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) took measures to protect patients and employees from COVID-19 by canceling face-to-face appointments that were not urgent and converting some of them to virtual appointments. The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) assessed VHA’s appointment management strategies and the status of canceled appointments. The review team found that about five million appointments (68 percent) canceled from March 15 through May 1, 2020, had evidence of follow up or other tracking. Patients completed appointments predominantly by telephone and some by video. Other appointments were tracked for future follow-up in VA’s scheduling system. However, about 2.3 million cancellations (32 percent) had no indication of follow up or tracking at the time of review. The review team also examined whether medical facilities followed VHA’s guidance on annotating the appointment cancellations. Doing so consistently would have allowed facilities to better determine which appointments needed to be rescheduled. However, VHA’s guidance changed over time, and facilities applied it inconsistently. Facilities also did not consistently follow guidance on leaving consults open so that medical providers could reschedule them. In addition, the team noted that canceling appointments in batches could mask the instances where patients were not contacted about the cancellations. The OIG’s ongoing surveillance of VHA data shows that overall, from March 15 through June 15, 2020, VHA has canceled nearly 11.2 million appointments and needs to follow up on about 3.3 million of those cancellations. The OIG recommended that VHA coordinate a well defined rescheduling strategy with all facilities and provide oversight to facilities that have a significant rate of appointments with no evidence of follow up or tracking. The OIG also recommended VHA ensure facilities do not solely rely on appointment annotations when rescheduling. Finally, the OIG recommended that facilities take appropriate action on canceled or discontinued consults.