Evaluation of the Federal Reserve System’s Loan Purchase and Administration for Its Main Street Lending Program (MSLP)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve System established the MSLP—composed of five different lending facilities—to facilitate lending to small and medium-sized for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Through the MSLP, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (FRB Boston) purchased 1,830 loans amounting to approximately $17.5 billion from lenders; the majority of these loans were purchased during the last 2 months of the program. Following the purchase of the loans, FRB Boston is now responsible for administering the loans, including assessing overall credit risk and identifying substandard loans. FRB Boston leveraged third-party vendors to support both loan purchases and loan administration. We plan to assess the MSLP’s processes for loan purchases and loan administration, including the design, implementation, and operating effectiveness of internal controls.
Evaluation of the Federal Reserve System’s Vendor Selection and Management Processes Related to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Emergency Lending Programs
As part of its emergency lending program, FRB New York operated six emergency lending facilities, five of which were supported by multiple vendor contracts. FRB New York awarded some of its emergency lending program–related contracts noncompetitively because of the exigent circumstances, and other contracts pose potential conflict-of-interest risks to the System. FRB New York’s reliance on vendors highlights the importance of its monitoring of vendor performance. We plan to assess the Board’s and FRB New York’s processes related to vendor selection and management for FRB New York’s emergency lending programs.
Evaluation of Third-Party Cybersecurity Risk Management Processes for Vendors Supporting the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF)
In response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board created new lending programs and facilities to provide loans to employers, certain businesses, and communities across the country to support the U.S. economy. To support the implementation of specific programs and facilities, the Federal Reserve Banks have contracted with third- party vendors for various services, such as administrative, custodial, legal, design, and investment management services. These vendors provide data generated from the operations and management of the facilities to the Reserve Banks, who then provide the data to the Board. We are evaluating the effectiveness of (1) the risk management processes designed to ensure that effective information security and data integrity controls are implemented by third parties supporting the administration of the MSLP and the SMCCF and (2) select security controls managed.
Audit of Data Quality in Selected in USAID PEPFAR Programs in Africa
This audit will look at the quality of data reported in selected President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programs to determine if weaknesses exist that may lead to inaccurate results reporting. The objectives of this audit are to assess the extent to which USAID has: (1) designed and implemented internal controls over collecting, verifying, and reporting PEPFAR data; and (2) identified and mitigated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its internal controls over PEPFAR data quality.
Oversight of Overseas Contingency Operations
As required by section 8L of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, the Inspectors General for the Department of Defense, Department of State, and USAID work together to report quarterly to Congress on every overseas contingency operation’s progress and corresponding oversight activities. Starting in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, these quarterly reports include reporting on the COVID-19 outbreaks in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and the Philippines, as well as the U.S. government response to them.
Monitoring of the Federal Reserve’s Lending Facilities
In response to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve recently announced that it would create new lending facilities to provide loans to employers, certain businesses, and communities across the country to support the U.S. economy. Specifically, the following programs have been created or are in development: the Main Street Lending Program, the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, the Municipal Liquidity Facility, the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility. We are initiating an active monitoring effort of these programs to gain an understanding of operational, governance, reputational, and financial matters associated with them. Through this monitoring effort, we will refine our focus on the programs and identify areas for future audits or evaluations. Some of the topics we are considering include the design, operation, governance, and oversight of the lending programs; data collection and reporting associated with the programs; and the effect of the programs on the Board’s supervision and regulation activities.
Audit of USAID’s Branding and Marking Requirements
USAID’s branding and marking efforts enhance the visibility and value of U.S. foreign assistance and are intended to inform beneficiaries that aid comes from the American people. Unfortunately, according to the Agency, beneficiaries of the billions of dollars of foreign assistance provided by the United States every year often have little to no awareness that the aid they receive is provided by the American people. The objectives of this audit are to determine the extent to which USAID: (1) has policies and procedures to ensure compliance with statutory branding and marking requirements and (2) provided information and oversight to ensure implementers complied with branding and marking requirements. Given particular interest from Congress amid the ongoing pandemic, this audit will consider the impact of COVID-19 under both objectives as appropriate.
Audit of Local Partner Participation Initiatives in USAID’s PEPFAR Programs in Africa
The Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy (OGAC) has established a goal of 70 percent local partner participation in President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programs by 2020. Included in the definition of local partner participation is government-to-government assistance, which is especially risky in Africa given the levels of political corruption in countries with the greatest HIV prevalence. The objectives of this audit are to: (1) describe the extent to which USAID’s PEPFAR budgets are on track to meet the goal for local partner funding; (2) assess to what extent USAID’s agency-wide strategy has prepared the agency to increase PEPFAR funding to local partners while addressing risks; and (3) assess to what extent selected USAID missions in Africa followed agency guidance designed to achieve the goal for PEPFAR local partner funding while addressing risks. The audit also explores topics related to the possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on USAID’s ability to reach the OGAC target and the extent to which USAID has identified financial and programmatic risks emanating from the pandemic.