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.
Performance Audit of the Short-Time Compensation Program under the CARES Act, Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act and the America Rescue Plan Act
The Short-Time Compensation (STC) program acts as a work share program, with employers reducing the number of hours offered to employees and the state making up the difference in the form of benefit payments. Our focus will be to determine if Department of Labor ensured states met the STC program requirements and used the related funds in accordance with provisions under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Continued Assistance Act, and the America Rescue Plan Act for the period of March 27, 2020 to September 6, 2021.
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
Performance Audit of the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act (Continued Assistance Act) and the America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
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.