University of Cincinnati’s Use of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Student Aid and Institutional Grants
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.
COVID-19 Pandemic Impact - Select Case Studies
Federal agencies were allocated more than $5 trillion in pandemic response funding to be disbursed to the public and to state and local governments, where a state or local government could have received pandemic response funds from multiple federal programs to improve the overall pandemic response in their communities. Access to information about the total amount of funds received, the purpose of those funds, and the progress made toward achieving the program goals and objectives is not always centralized and can be difficult for the public to track down or may not even be available to the public. The PRAC will conduct impact case studies at 6 different locations and seek to identify the federal pandemic response funds provided to the 6 locations and the purpose of those funds, and to determine if the federal program spending aligned with the intended goals and objectives.
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.
Acquisition and Grants Workforce Assessment
The CARES Act requires that the PRAC conduct and coordinate oversight of covered funds and the Coronavirus response and support Inspectors General in the oversight of covered funds and the Coronavirus response. The purpose of this review is to assess the resources (staffing, training, IT, oversight, and resources overall) available to the acquisition and grants workforce in their implementation of contracts and grants funded with COVID-19 response funds. The resulting report will meet the requirements outlined in the CARES Act and present an assessment of information obtained during the data call, including any trends, best practices, or challenges.
Best Practices for State Unemployment Insurance Benefits Programs Study
The PRAC will be conducting this project with the assistance of MITRE, a federally funded research and development corporation. This project will research to identify best practices and lessons learned from pandemic response in state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits programs.
Audit of the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Oversight of Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant Funds
The purpose of the audit is to determine whether the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) has an adequate process in place to ensure that grantees use Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grant funds appropriately and performance goals are met.
Limited Scope Evaluation of SBA's Fraud Controls
The PRAC will evaluate whether fraud controls that SBA applied in phase III of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) (and which are purportedly being applied in the SBA's new Restaurant Revitalization Fund program) would have likely detected known fraud that has been identified in PPP criminal cases.
Review of State Plans for Use of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds
The objectives of our review are to (1) review states’ initial 45-day GEER Fund reports to determine how states plan to allocate funds to entities within the three authorized categories: (a) local educational agencies, (b) institutions of higher education, and (c) education-related entities, and the criteria upon which these decisions were based; and (2) review GEER Fund annual reports to identify changes to and progress made from the initial plans in the 45-day reports.
Department’s Processes for Implementing CARES Act Related Flexibilities to TEACH Grant Service Obligations
Evaluate the Department’s plans/processes to ensure TEACH grantees receive full-time credit toward their service obligations for part-time and temporarily interrupted service due to COVID-19.