The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and three related pieces of emergency legislation provide approximately $2.4 trillion in economic relief to individual citizens, loans for businesses, support for hospitals and other medical providers, and economic relief for impacted industries.
In addition, the CARES Act creates the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) composed of federal Offices of Inspector General to "promote transparency and conduct and support oversight of covered funds and the Coronavirus response to (1) prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement; and (2) mitigate major risks that cut across program and agency boundaries." Rather than a stand-alone organization, the PRAC is a Committee of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), an independent entity established within the executive branch by the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, that includes the 75 statutorily created federal Inspectors General with a mission to address integrity, economy, and effectiveness issues that transcend individual government agencies.
About the PRAC
The PRAC will lead the efforts of CIGIE and its Inspectors General to promote transparency and support and conduct oversight of the funds provided to address the pandemic response by the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act , and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. As part of its oversight responsibilities, the PRAC is tasked with supporting efforts to "prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement [and] mitigate major risks that cut across program and agency boundaries."
The CARES Act specifically identifies Inspectors General from 9 agencies as members of the PRAC but provides that the CIGIE Chair may designate additional Inspectors General to serve on the Committee from any agency that receives funds or is otherwise involved in the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Consistent with the CARES Act, the Inspectors General serving on the Committee will continue to perform their Inspector General duties. At present, the PRAC is composed of 20 Inspectors General and will expand to 21 when the recently created Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery is confirmed.
"The PRAC, working closely with all Federal Inspectors General, seeks to ensure that funds intended to support individuals, workers, healthcare professionals, businesses, and others affected by the pandemic are used efficiently, effectively, and in accordance with the law," said Acting PRAC Chair Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General at the Department of Justice.