The purpose of the audit is to determine whether Federal Student Aid has adequate processes (1) for students who withdrew because of the coronavirus pandemic, to waive the return of Title IV (R2T4) requirements, cancel Direct Loans received during the payment period, and exclude Pell Grants received during the payment period from Federal Pell lifetime usage; and (2) for schools to report the number and amounts of R2T4 waivers applied.
The objective of our review is to determine the Department’s progress on spending program administration funds authorized by coronavirus response and relief laws, including how those funds have been used to date and the Department’s plans for using remaining funds.
University of Cincinnati’s Use of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Student Aid and Institutional Grants
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.
The OIG is conducting an audit of the Office on Violence Against Women’s Grant Administration due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The preliminary objectives are to assess: (1) the grant administration and monitoring during the pandemic and (2) the guidance and assistance provided to grant recipients for addressing any increased risks to effective program implementation and to violence against women.
Audit of the State of Michigan’s Administration of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) Grant
Determine whether Michigan designed and implemented (1) awarding processes that ensured that the GEER grant was used to support local educational agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs) that were most significantly impacted by the coronavirus or LEAs, IHEs, or other education-related entities within the State that were deemed essential for carrying out emergency educational services, and (2) monitoring processes to ensure that subgrantees used GEER grant funds in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other applicable Federal requirements.
Review of Local Educational Agencies’ Use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds for Technology
The review will cover selected LEAs’ experience with purchasing technology to continue students’ instruction as schools closed and reopened in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The review will include a survey to obtain information regarding the types of technology purchased, the impact the technology had on student learning, and the challenges LEAs faced related to the purchase and maintenance of that technology.
Audit of the Criminal Division's and the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys' Management and Coordination of Pandemic-related Fraud Allegations and Referrals
The Office of the Inspector General initiated an audit to examine the Criminal Division's and the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys' management and coordination of pandemic-related fraud allegations and referrals.
Immunization Information Systems (IISs) play an integral role in monitoring vaccine uptake in the population and meeting vaccination goals. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other stakeholders have long invested significant efforts to establish plans and standards to guide improvements in IISs, State, and local jurisdictions have often struggled to make these improvements. CDC's work to collect and share data on COVID-19 vaccinations relies heavily on State and local IISs working with Federal systems, but the preexisting limitations of these systems pose challenges for CDC's goal of comprehensive immunization data being made available for clinical and public health uses. This study will examine State and Federal experiences using these systems to collect, share, and monitor data on COVID-19 vaccinations, and identify lessons learned that can improve vaccination data and monitoring for future mass vaccination campaigns as well as routine vaccination programs.