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.
Identifying Transparency Gaps in the USAspending and PandemicOversight.gov Award Data
The PRAC will review the degree of transparency provided in publicly available award-level data for federal relief and assistance spending in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The resulting report will build off the PRAC-commissioned report, "Gaps in CARES Act Data Sources and How to Close Them", and provide Congress, policymakers, and the public with specific examples of gaps in the award-level data for federal relief and assistance spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.