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.
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.
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.
Evaluation of Third-Party Cybersecurity Risk Management Processes for Vendors Supporting the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF)
In response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board created new lending programs and facilities to provide loans to employers, certain businesses, and communities across the country to support the U.S. economy. To support the implementation of specific programs and facilities, the Federal Reserve Banks have contracted with third- party vendors for various services, such as administrative, custodial, legal, design, and investment management services. These vendors provide data generated from the operations and management of the facilities to the Reserve Banks, who then provide the data to the Board. We are evaluating the effectiveness of (1) the risk management processes designed to ensure that effective information security and data integrity controls are implemented by third parties supporting the administration of the MSLP and the SMCCF and (2) select security controls managed.
Multi-Dipping of Pandemic Response Funds Provided to Tribal Governments
The PRAC and pandemic OIGs identified the possibility of recipients receiving funding from multiple federal programs for the same purpose (multi-dipping) as a high risk area. This project will focus on funds received by tribal governments, and result in an information brief that identifies programs where multi-dipping has occurred in CARES Act programs allowing us to identify and scope the magnitude of the risk.
State Spend Rates of Pandemic Response Funds
This project seeks to provide transparency of states and localities spending rates of pandemic response funds. The project will also look at the state spend rate data in connection with public health and economic data to provide a more complete picture of the government’s COVID-19 relief efforts. The resulting information brief will inform Congress, policymakers, and the public about how swiftly states and localities have been able to spend Federal funds and may highlight any challenges faced by these recipients expending funds.