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Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

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.  

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

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.

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

Telehealth Services in Select Federal Health Care Programs

Throughout the pandemic, the use of telehealth has been critically important to ensure continued and expanded access to care while reducing the risks of exposure and spread of COVID-19.  As the effects of the pandemic are still being felt throughout the Nation, there are questions about how telehealth can best be used to meet the needs of beneficiaries in the future. The PRAC will conduct and coordinate a review of six Federal healthcare programs to identify the nature of telehealth across these programs and to identify any potential integrity risks associated with telehealth programs and the facilitation of telehealth care.
Railroad Retirement Board OIG

Audit of the Utilization of ARPA Information Technology Modernization Funds at the Railroad Retirement Board

The objectives of this audit are to: 1) obtain, review, and assess agency plans to expend these funds, 2) determine the current status of the RRB IT initiatives to expend all or part of the appropriation, 3) evaluate if the project progress is in accordance with the RRB’s project plan timeline, and reasons for delay, if any, 4) evaluate if the RRB’s goals and timeline are reasonable and attainable to achieve the intended purpose as stated in agency plans, and 5) evaluate the outcomes of the project relative to the anticipated improvements.
Railroad Retirement Board OIG

Audit of the Railroad Retirement Board Mobile Phones Deployed as a Result of the Pandemic

The objectives of this audit are to: 1) determine if mobile phones purchased and deployed as a result of the pandemic comply with RRB mobile device policies including records retention for voice mail, text messages, photographs, etc, 2) conduct a cost benefit analysis for the cell phones that would include identification of non-usage of cell phones and extensive personal usage, 3) assess the necessity for the mobile phone, for the entire population of cell phones, based on cell phone usage tied to employee positions within the agency, 4) assess the types of the applications downloaded to the mobile phones and determine if they are appropriate for business purposes and if approvals were required, and 5) assess whether agency records of mobile phone assignment are accurate and complete for the entire population of cell phones.
Railroad Retirement Board OIG

Audit of the Coronavirus Relief Benefit Payments and Internal Controls

The preliminary objectives of this audit cover the extended unemployment and sickness benefits that were appropriated through the CARES Act, CARWA, and ARPA to determine if (1) they were accurately expended, recorded, and reported and (2) internal controls were effective, including fraud controls.

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

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.

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

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.

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

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.

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

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.