The PRAC’s objective was to review pandemic-related federal contracts and identify first-time contractors and contracts awarded without competitive bidding. We found that first-time federal contractors received $4.4 billion worth of pandemic contracts in Fiscal Year 2020 and that $128 million was deobligated from contracts with first-time federal contractors during the same period. Additionally, we identified the four most common flexibilities identified to justify limited competition were urgency, only one source, simplified acquisition procedures, and authorized by statute. Of these, we...
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.
Correctional and detention facilities present unique challenges in preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19. When compared to the general population, a disproportionate number of COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths occur in jails, prisons, and detention facilities across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that the confined nature of correctional and detention facilities, combined with their congregate environments, heightens the potential for COVID-19 to spread once introduced into a facility. Individuals typically eat, sleep, and participate in activities...
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.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has appropriated over $3.5 trillion to address the public health and economic crises. Given the changing nature of the pandemic and the federal government’s response, we re-visited our original top management challenges to ensure that the PRAC is providing timely information to Congress and the new Administration about the response efforts. The following four challenges have been added: Preventing and Detecting Fraud against Government Programs; Informing and Protecting the Public from Pandemic-Related Fraud; Data...