MITRE Research Study - Identity Fraud Victim Redress Study
The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) is initiating a study to identify fraud victim redress processes and systems to propose a U.S. model for government benefit programs. We will be conducting this study with the assistance of MITRE, a federally funded research and development corporation. We have coordinated this project with the Chair of the PRAC’s Identity Fraud Reduction Redress Working Group, which includes several Offices of Inspectors General. We will be conducting this project under the authorities found in Section 15010 of the CARES Act.
Personnel Shortages for Federal Health Care Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Personnel supporting Federal health care programs are a resource critical to the Federal COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. Health care facilities must be prepared for potential personnel shortages and must have plans and processes in place to mitigate these shortages to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics. The PRAC will coordinate a review of four Federal health care programs to determine whether these programs, or the providers they reimburse, experienced shortages in health care personnel during the pandemic, the impact of those health care personnel shortages, and strategies used by the Departments to reduce shortages of health care personnel for future pandemics.
Telehealth Services in Select Federal Health Care Programs
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.
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. The 6 locations identified for this project include: Springfield, Massachusetts; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Marion County, Georgia; Sheridan County, Nebraska; White Earth Indian Nation, Minnesota; and Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico.
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.
Use of States' Immunization Information Systems To Monitor COVID-19 Vaccinations
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.
Audit of Health Resources and Services Administration's COVID-19 Supplemental Grant Funding for Health Centers
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded nearly $2 billion in supplemental grant funding to 1,387 health centers nationwide in fiscal year (FY) 2020 to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funding was intended to support the health centers' activities related to the detection, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19, including maintaining or increasing health center capacity and staffing levels during the pandemic, and expanding COVID-19 testing. The performance period for each of these one-time supplemental grant awards, which HRSA began awarding in March 2020, is 12 months. Health centers were permitted to charge to their awards pre-award costs in order to support expenses related to the COVID-19 public health emergency dating back to January 20, 2020. We will determine whether health centers used their HRSA COVID-19 supplemental grant funding in accordance with Federal requirements and grant terms.
Audit of Indian Health Service's COVID-19 Vaccine Policies and Procedures for COVID-19 Vaccines Distributed to Tribal Health Programs
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations nationwide. We will focus on IHS's coordination of the distribution, allocation, and administration of the vaccine to Tribal Health Programs. The objective of this audit is to determine whether IHS followed the Memorandum of Agreement for the CDC COVID-19 Federal Agency Vaccination Program and the IHS COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccine Plan to coordinate the distribution, allocation, and administration of the vaccines to Tribal Health Programs to protect AI/AN beneficiaries.