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Department of Education OIG

Assessment of the Department’s Reconstitution Plans Following COVID-19

The objective of our inspection was to assess the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) plans and procedures for returning employees to the federal office in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including what existing guidance the Department considered when developing its plans and procedures. We found that the Department generally incorporated available guidance, which was intended to provide for a safe and gradual return to federal offices, in its Workplace Reconstitution Transition Plan (Reconstitution Plan). However, we noted that the Department’s Reconstitution Plan does not...

Department of Housing and Urban Development OIG

Interim Audit Memorandum – The HUD Single Family Insurance Operations Division Should Take Additional Action To Inform Homeowners of Changes to Its FHA Refund Process Resulting From the COVID-19 Pandemic

We audited the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) response to COVID-19 to determine if it appropriately, effectively, and efficiently tracked, monitored, and issued Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refunds owed to homeowners with terminated loans. During our field work, the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began and as a result, we developed a second, more urgent audit objective to determine how COVID-19 has affected policies, procedures, and distribution of FHA refunds and whether HUD’s response was appropriate. We determined that COVID-19 generally did not...

Small Business Administration OIG

Evaluation of the CARES Act Debt Relief to 7(a) Borrowers

Environmental Protection Agency OIG

EPA's Initial Plans for Returning to the Office Incorporate CDC Guidance but Differ by Location

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U.S. Postal Service OIG

Employee Safety – Postal Service COVID-19 Response

To lead its pandemic response, the Postal Service created the COVID-19 Command Response Team at headquarters to ensure the agency followed directives and guidance from the CDC. The Postal Service implemented changes to slow the spread of the virus, manage and support affected employees, and ensure that recovered employees returned to work safely. Our objective was to assess the Postal Service’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak regarding the safety of its employees.

Department of Veterans Affairs OIG

Enhanced Strategy Needed to Reduce Disability Exam Inventory Due to the Pandemic and Errors Related to Canceled Exams

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected how the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) provides disability benefits to veterans. On April 3, 2020, VBA discontinued all in-person disability exams that help determine the severity of medical conditions and the amount of benefits paid. The OIG conducted this review to assess how VBA scheduled and conducted exams during the pandemic to limit veterans’ exposure, minimize processing delays, and ensure claims were not prematurely denied due to missed or canceled in-person exams. The OIG also evaluated VBA’s strategy for addressing the inventory of delayed...

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

Opioid Treatment Programs Reported Challenges Encountered During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Actions Taken To Address Them

The United States currently faces two nationwide public health emergencies: the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the opioid crisis because individuals with an opioid use disorder may be at a higher risk for COVID-19 infection and serious consequences from that disease. In response to the pandemic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) granted opioid treatment programs (OTPs) and States increased flexibilities to ensure the delivery of OTP services and to protect patients and staff from COVID-19 to the greatest...