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Ongoing Work

The following is a compendium of ongoing OIG work related to the government's pandemic response and recovery efforts.

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Agency for International Development OIG

Oversight of Overseas Contingency Operations

As required by section 8L of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, the Inspectors General for the Department of Defense, Department of State, and USAID work together to report quarterly to Congress on every overseas contingency operation’s progress and corresponding oversight activities.  Starting in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, these quarterly reports include reporting on the COVID-19 outbreaks in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and the Philippines, as well as the U.S. government response to them.

Amtrak OIG

Monitoring and Assessing Special Appropriations Related to Coronavirus Impacts

Monitoring and Assessing Special Appropriations Related to Coronavirus Impacts

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau OIG

Monitoring of the Federal Reserve’s Lending Facilities

In response to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve recently announced that it would create new lending facilities to provide loans to employers, certain businesses, and communities across the country to support the U.S. economy. Specifically, the following programs have been created or are in development: the Main Street Lending Program, the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, the Municipal Liquidity Facility, the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility. We are initiating an active monitoring effort of these programs to gain an understanding of operational, governance, reputational, and financial matters associated with them. Through this monitoring effort, we will refine our focus on the programs and identify areas for future audits or evaluations. Some of the topics we are considering include the design, operation, governance, and oversight of the lending programs; data collection and reporting associated with the programs; and the effect of the programs on the Board’s supervision and regulation activities.

Defense Intelligence Agency OIG

Evaluation of DIA’s Implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

In accordance with the CARES Act, Section 3610, “Federal Contractor Authority,” March 27, 2020 we will evaluate DIA’s implementation of Section 3610. Our objective is to determine whether DIA’s contractor reimbursements were appropriate and governed by policies and procedures that met the Act’s requirements.

Evaluation of DIA’s Management of the DoD's All-Source Analyst Professional Certification Program

In response to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security's initiative to professionalize the analysis workforce within the Department of Defense (DoD), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Office of the Inspector General initiated an evaluation to assess the Agency's effectiveness in serving as the All-Source Analyst Professional Certification Program management lead.  We will assess the effectiveness of the DIA’s efforts to administer, implement, and oversee the program in accordance with DoD, Intelligence Community, Agency, and national accreditation policies and standards. As a part of this evaluation effort, we will also examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on DIA's ability to provide the DoD analysis workforce with continuous opportunities to attain the Certified Defense All-Source Analyst-I professional credential.

Evaluation of DIA’s Utilization of Reserve Intelligence Capabilities

The Defense Intelligence Agency Office of the Inspector General initiated an evaluation of the Agency's use of Reserve military intelligence capabilities across the Defense Intelligence Enterprise.  Our objective is to assess the effectiveness of Agency’s use of Reserve military intelligence forces for the delivery and integration of Reserve capabilities across the Defense Intelligence Enterprise in peacetime and during crisis and contingency operations.  Through this evaluation effort, we will examine the use of Reserve military intelligence capabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department of Defense OIG

Audit of Contracts for Equipment and Supplies in Support of the Coronavirus Disease–2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (Project No. D2020-D000AX-0110.000)

Objective: We plan to begin the subject audit in April 2020. The objective of this audit is to determine whether the DoD paid fair and reasonable prices for laboratory equipment and personal protective equipment procured in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Audit of Controls Over Costs for Health Care Claims for Services Related to COVID-19 (Project No. D2020-D000AW-0117.000)

We plan to begin the subject audit in April 2020. The objective of this audit is to determine whether the Defense Health Agency effectively controlled costs for health care claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Audit of DoD Implementation of Section 3610 Authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

We plan to begin this audit in May 2020. The objective of this audit is to assess DoD’s implementation of section 3610 as authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, including whether contracting officers properly authorized and reimbursed contractor costs. We may revise the objective as the audit proceeds, and will also consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

Audit of Infectious Disease Medical Treatment Capabilities at Al Udeid Air Base

We plan to begin the subject audit in May 2020. The objective of this audit is to determine whether Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB) has the capability to treat coronavirus disease–2019 (COVID-19) patients and isolate or quarantine suspected infected service members, civilians, and contractors. We may revise the objective as the audit proceeds, and we will also consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

We will perform the audit at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. We may identify additional locations during the audit.

Audit of Maintaining Cybersecurity in the COVID-19 Telework Environment

We plan to begin the subject audit in May 2020. We are conducting this audit in compliance with Public Law No. 116-136, “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.” The objective of this audit is to determine whether DoD Components maintained network protections as the DoD workforce maximized the use of telework capabilities to ensure the continuity of mission essential tasks during the Coronavirus Disease–2019 pandemic. We may revise the objective as the audit proceeds, and we will also consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

Audit of the Department of Defense Mission Assignments for Coronavirus Disease–2019 in the U.S. Northern Command Area of Responsibility

 We plan to begin the subject audit in June 2020. The objective of this audit is to determine whether U.S. Northern Command and supporting DoD Components identified, tracked, requested, and received reimbursement for coronavirus disease–2019 mission assignments in accordance with Federal and DoD policies. We may revise the objective as the audit proceeds, and we will consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

Audit of the Disinfection of DoD Facilities in Response to the Coronavirus Disease–2019

We plan to begin the subject audit in May 2020. The objective of this audit is to determine whether DoD Components used supplemental funding, received in response to the coronavirus–19 (COVID-19) pandemic, to procure IT products and services in accordance with applicable DoD and Federal requirements. Specifically, this audit will determine whether DoD Components:

  1. adhered to congressionally-established requirements for using supplemental funds;
     
  2. procured information technology products and services to support operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and used those products and services for that purpose;
     
  3. paid fair and reasonable prices for those products and services; and

  1. assessed whether known cybersecurity risks existed and developed risk mitigation strategies for the risk before procuring or using the information technology products.

Audit of the DoD Military Installations’ Public Health Emergency Readiness

We plan to begin the subject audit in June 2020. The objective of this audit is to determine whether military commanders implemented measures to prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies, such as coronavirus disease–2019 (COVID-19), on DoD installations. We may revise the objective as the audit proceeds, and we will also consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

Audit of the Impact of Coronavirus Disease–2019 on Basic Military Training

We plan to begin the subject audit in June 2020. The objective of this audit is to determine whether the DoD followed guidance and implemented procedures to prevent and reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease–2019 (COVID-19) at basic military training facilities, while maintaining military readiness. We may revise the objective as the audit proceeds, and we will also consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

Evaluation of Defense Logistics Agency Contracts for Ventilators in Response to the Coronavirus-Disease-2019 Outbreak (Project No. D2020-DEV0SA-0124.000)

We plan to begin the subject evaluation immediately. The objective of this evaluation is to determine whether the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) adequately contracted to acquire ventilators in response to the global coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, including how DLA identified contract requirements and provided oversight of the time-phased delivery of ventilators.

Evaluation of DoD Medical Treatment Facility Challenges During the Coronavirus Disease 2019

We plan to begin the subject evaluation in May 2020. The objective of this evaluation is to determine the challenges and needs DoD medical treatment facilities (MTFs) encounter in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We may revise the objective as the evaluation proceeds, and we will also consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

Evaluation of the Armed Forces Retirement Home Response to the Coronavirus Disease–2019 Pandemic

We plan to begin the subject evaluation in August 2020. The objective of this evaluation is to determine whether the Armed Forces Retirement Home protected the residents, staff, and medical professionals from coronavirus disease–2019 exposure in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, State, and local health and safety guidance. We may revise the objective as the evaluation proceeds, and we will consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

 

Evaluation of the U.S. Combatant Commands’ Responses to the Coronavirus Disease–2019

We plan to begin the subject evaluation in May 2020. The objective of this evaluation is to determine how U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Southern Command, and their component commands executed pandemic response plans; and to identify the challenges encountered in implementing the response plans and the impact to operations resulting from the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). We may revise the objective as the evaluation proceeds, and we will consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

Project Announcement: Evaluation of the Navy's Plans and Response to the Coronavirus-Disease-2019 Outbreak Onboard Ships (Project No. D2020-DEV0SI-0127.000)

We plan to begin the subject evaluation in May 2020. The objective of this evaluation is to determine whether the Navy has implemented policies and procedures to prevent and mitigate the spread of infectious diseases, such as coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19), on ships and submarines. In addition, we will determine whether mitigation measures that are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 were implemented across the fleet. We may revise the objective as the evaluation proceeds, and we will also consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.

Research for Future Audits and Evaluations Related to the Effects of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus on DoD Operations (Project No. D2020-D000RM-0108.000)

The World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on January 30, 2020. On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency in the United States and announced new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the DoD has sought to address the impact of COVID-19 on the health and safety of DoD personnel and their dependents. For example, the DoD initiated travel restrictions, canceled or postponed training exercises, transferred medical supplies to other Government agencies, deployed U.S. Navy Hospital ships to areas impacted by the outbreak, quarantined civilians on military installations, and various other measures. This memorandum is to formally inform you that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) is initiating a research project to conduct research, examine the impact of COVID-19 on DoD operations, review measures that the DoD has taken to address the impact of COVID-19, and identify topics for potential DoD OIG audits and evaluations. This research will include data gathering and inquiries into areas such as personnel management; military operations, training, and exercises; human capital; medical readiness and welfare; supply chain management; financial management; cyberspace operations and security; support for civilian authorities; initiatives pertaining to military readiness and the health and welfare of the total force; and other areas.

Department of Education OIG

CARES Act Preliminary Oversight Plan

The OIG CARES Act oversight plan presents an overall look at the work that the OIG intends to conduct, including auditing the U.S. Department of Education and grantee management and spending of CARES Act funds, examining the effectiveness of relief programs, and investigating the misuse, theft, and other criminal activity involving CARES Act funds.

Challenges for Consideration in Implementing and Overseeing the CARES Act

In this report, the OIG will be identifying challenges that the U.S. Department of Education may face when implementing and overseeing programs and provisions authorized under the CARES Act.

Department of Health and Human Services OIG

Audit of CMS's Controls Over the Expanded Accelerated and Advance Payment Program Payments and Recovery

 This work will provide details of the effectiveness of CMS controls over its Accelerated and Advance Payment Program (AAP) payments to providers and payment recovery. We will obtain data and meet with program officials to understand CMS's eligibility determination process for AAP payments and the steps CMS will have taken to recover such funds in compliance with the CARES Act and other Federal requirements. The objectives of our work will be to determine whether CMS made AAP payments to eligible providers and implemented controls to recover the AAP payments in compliance with the CARES Act and other Federal requirements. We will also evaluate a select group of providers to determine whether they were eligible for AAP payments, and their efforts to repay CMS in compliance with the CARES Act and other Federal requirements.

Trend Analysis of Medicare Laboratory Billing for Potential Fraud and Abuse With COVID-19 Add-on Testing

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an unprecedented demand for diagnostic laboratory testing to determine whether an individual has the virus. Beyond the COVID-19 tests, laboratories can also perform add-on tests, for example to confirm or rule out diagnosis other than COVID-19. However, OIG has program integrity concerns related to add-on tests in conjuction with COVID-19 testing, particularly related to potentially fraudulent billing for associated respiratory pathogen panel (RPP) tests, allergy tests, or genetic tests. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has relaxed rules related to COVID-19 testing and other associated diagnostic laboratory testing to no longer require an order from the treating physician or nonphysician practitioner (NPP) during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Relaxation of the physician ordering/NPP rules could allow unscrupulous actors more leeway for fraudulent billing of unnecessary add-on testing. This study will examine Medicare claims data for laboratory testing to identify trends in the use of RPP, allergy, and genetic testing and identify patterns of billing by laboratories that may indicate fraud and abuse.

A Review of Medicare Data To Understand Hospital Utilization During COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can significantly tax hospitals and disproportionately affect Medicare beneficiaries. COVID-19 can affect much of a State or a locality at the same time, rapidly increasing the demand for hospital resources. Using Medicare claims data, this review will analyze the effects of COVID-19 on hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries and the hospital resources needed to care for them. Specifically, it will review utilization of the treatments provided and paid for by Medicare for patients with COVID-19 in selected localities that have known outbreaks. It will also describe the extent to which hospital utilization for Medicare beneficiaries changed over time.

Assessing HHS Agencies' Adherence to Health, Safety, and Operational Protocols During Repatriation and Quarantine Efforts for the COVID-19 Outbreak

Audit of ASPR's Operation of the Strategic National Stockpile in Response to the COVID-19 Disease Pandemic

The Strategic National Stockpile (Stockpile) is a repository of supplies for use in the event of a national emergency in the United States or its territories. Originally funded by Congress in Fiscal Year 1999 and operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the Department of Health and Human Services has been responsible since 2018 for the operation of the Stockpile. OIG has historically reviewed various aspects of the Department's emergency preparedness and response. We plan to determine whether ASPR's operation of the Stockpile was effective in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Audit of CARES Act Provider Relief Funds- Distribution of $50 Billion to Health Care Providers

This work will examine the effectiveness of HHS controls over the awarding and disbursement of $50 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments to hospitals and other providers. We will obtain data and interview program officials to gain an understanding of how PRF payments were calculated and review PRF payments for compliance with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requirements. Among other things, we will seek to determine whether HHS controls over PRF payments ensured that payments were correctly calculated and disbursed to eligible providers.

Audit of Child Care Development Fund Childcare Services During Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Audit of Foster Care Services During Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Title IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act), as amended, authorizes the Federal Foster Care Program, which helps provide safe and stable out-of-home care for children until the children are safely returned home, placed permanently with adoptive families, or placed in other planned arrangements for permanency. Title IV-B of the Act authorizes Federal funding to States to promote flexibility in the development and expansion of coordinated child and family services programs. In response to COVID-19, on April 15, 2020, the Children's Bureau—the operating division of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) that administers the Title IV-B and Title IV-E programs at the Federal level—provided flexibility to State Title IV-E agencies related to (1) fingerprint-based criminal record checks requirements for prospective foster parents (allowing for name-based checks until fingerprint-based checks can safely be done), and (2) caseworker visit requirements (allowing videoconferencing visits to count toward the requirement that 50 percent of visits must occur in the child's home). On April 27, 2020, the Children's Bureau reminded States of additional flexibilities afforded by the Statute, including the authority to modify foster family licensing standards as long as the standards are applied to all of these placements in accordance with the requirements of the Statute. Additionally, States have the authority to set their own foster care maintenance payment rates including, at their own discretion, enhancing those rates for children who test positive for COVID-19.

We intend to survey all States and identify the States that adopted any new licensing regulations or policies and procedures as a result of the existing flexibilities in the Statute and the waivers provided by ACF. Based on the information gathered, we plan to identify three States and conduct separate audits to ensure foster care providers are safeguarding the health and safety of children during the COVID-19 pandemic and identify any vulnerabilities or gaps in policies or procedures that could place these children at risk. As part of these audits, we would ensure that criminal record checks for foster parents conducted via name-based checks were ultimately conducted through fingerprints whenever determined safe to do so.

Audit of HHS's Awarding of Ventilator Production Contracts Under the Defense Production Act in Response to COVID-19

To address the COVID-19 pandemic, the President used his authority under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate the supply of materials for the production of ventilators. In response, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) awarded 10 contracts totaling more than $2.9 billion to supply more than 187,000 ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of 2020. This work will focus on the top five highest dollar value contracts awarded by ASPR for supplying these ventilators. We plan to determine whether ASPR's awarding and monitoring of these contracts complied with Federal requirements and HHS policies and procedures.

Audit of HHS's Production and Distribution of COVID-19 Lab Test Kits

Audit of Indian Health Service's Coverage of COVID-19 Testing

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided $64 million in additional resources for COVID-19 response activities through the Indian Health Service (IHS) and requires coverage, without cost-sharing, for COVID-19 testing for American Indians/Alaska Natives, who receive health services. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided $750 million for COVID-19 testing and testing-related services through IHS. From these two Acts, funding for COVID-19 testing to urban Indian organizations total $53 million and funding to IHS Federal health programs and Tribal health programs total $611 million. We will audit IHS's allocation and utilization of funding to urban Indian organizations, IHS Federal health programs and Tribal health programs. Specifically, our objectives will be to determine whether: (1) IHS allocated the COVID-19 funds to ensure that testing supplies were available to meet community needs, and (2) COVID-19 funds were used by IHS and grantees for testing, including other testing-related services, in accordance with Federal requirements.

Audit of Nursing Home Infection Prevention and Control Program Deficiencies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that individuals at high risk for severe illness from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are people aged 65 years and older and those who live in a nursing home. Currently, more than 1.3 million residents live in approximately 15,450 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in the United States. As of February 2020, State Survey Agencies have cited more than 6,600 of these nursing homes (nearly 43 percent) for infection prevention and control program deficiencies, including lack of a correction plan in place for these deficiencies. To reduce the likelihood of contracting and spreading COVID-19 at these nursing homes, effective internal controls must be in place. Our objective is to determine whether selected nursing homes have programs for infection prevention and control and emergency preparedness in accordance with Federal requirements.

Audit of Nursing Homes' Reporting of COVID-19 Information Under CMS's New Requirements

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, CMS added requirements to an existing regulation that requires nursing homes to report to State and local health departments communicable diseases, health care-associated infections, and potential outbreaks. Under one requirement, these facilities must now report COVID-19 data (such as information on suspected and confirmed infections, and deaths among residents and staff) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through its National Healthcare Safety Network system. The data must be reported in a standardized format at least weekly. We will assess nursing homes' reporting of CMS-required information related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Specifically, we will determine whether the data reported by nursing homes were complete, accurate, and reliable.

CDC's Collection and Use of Data on Disparities in COVID-19 Cases and Outcomes

With emerging information on rates of infection and outcomes for the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), numerous reports document a disproportionate burden of infection and deaths among communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities. This study will examine data that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects and maintains that can be used to assess racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in COVID-19 cases and outcomes, as well as how CDC uses those data as part of its activities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also examine CDC's lessons learned about how to best protect communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in future public health emergencies. 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and States Implement Policy Modifications To Ensure That Medicaid Beneficiaries Continue To Receive Prescriptions

Medicaid is a joint Federal-State program that pays for medical assistance for individuals and families with low incomes. All States currently provide coverage for outpatient prescription drugs within their State Medicaid programs. Under section 1135 of the Act, CMS may temporarily waive or modify certain Medicaid requirements to ensure that sufficient health care items and services are available to meet the needs of beneficiaries in times of an emergency. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic highlights the need for States to efficiently and effectively respond to protect the needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. This audit will provide insights from State officials on action taken by States and DC to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries continue to receive prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will interview State officials from several States and DC to determine actions taken or planned. Our objective is to review actions taken or planned by States and DC to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries continue to receive prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CMS's Internal Controls Over Hospital Preparedness for Emerging Infectious Disease Epidemics Such as Coronavirus Disease 2019

Emergency Preparedness and Response at Care Provider Facilities in the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Unaccompanied Alien Children Program

End Stage Renal Disease Networks' Responsibilities During COVID-19

CDC has stated that beneficiaries with serious underlying medical conditions, such as end stage renal Disease (ESRD), are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. As per the CDC, prompt detection, triage, and isolation of potentially infectious patients are essential to prevent unnecessary exposures among patients and health care personnel at dialysis facilities. ESRD treatment facilities are organized into groups called Networks. Network Organizations under CMS contracts develop relationships with dialysis professionals, providers, and patients, and create a collaborative environment to improve patient care. The Network Organizations' contracts include statutory responsibilities and quality improvement activities that could be important in protecting ESRD beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to Network Organizations, the ESRD National Coordinating Center (NCC) supports and coordinates activities for the ESRD program on a national level. We will interview Network Organizations, NCC, and CMS officials to identify the actions Network Organizations are taking to aid dialysis clinics and patients in response to COVID-19 and keep CMS abreast of quality-of-care issues resulting from COVID-19.

Geographic Distribution of Provider Relief Funds to Communities Disproportionately Impacted by Adverse COVID-19 Outcomes

As information on rates of infection and outcomes for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic emerges, numerous reports document racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in rates of adverse outcomes from COVID-19, including death. This study will review the locations of hospitals that received Provider Relief Funds, with particular attention to hospitals located in communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities that were disproportionately impacted by adverse COVID-19 outcomes (i.e., hospitalization or death).

Health and Safety Standards in Social Services for Adults

Highlights of OIG's Emergency Preparedness Work: Insights for COVID-19 Response

Medicaid Nursing Home Life Safety and Emergency Preparedness Reviews

Medicaid-Audit of Health and Safety Standards at Individual Supported Living Facilities

Medicaid: Expedited Provider Enrollment During COVID-19 Emergency

As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Medicaid provider enrollment through State Medicaid agencies has been expedited under the SSA §1135 Authority to Waive Requirements during National Emergencies. Rapid loosening of established provider screening and background check requirements may limit a State's ability to identify providers who are not eligible to participate in Medicaid. Our objective is to determine whether the State agency and providers complied with Federal and State requirements for newly enrolled providers under the national emergency declaration and if the State established tracking controls for these providers as well as giving providers adequate guidance on waived enrollment requirements.

Medicaid—Telehealth Expansion During COVID-19 Emergency

As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, State Medicaid programs have expanded options for telehealth services. Rapid expansion of telehealth may pose challenges for State agencies and providers, including State oversight of these services. Our objective is to determine whether State agencies and providers complied with Federal and State requirements for telehealth services under the national emergency declaration, and whether the States gave providers adequate guidance on telehealth requirements.

Meeting the Challenges Presented by COVID-19: Nursing Homes

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for nursing homes. These challenges include procuring critical supplies, testing residents and staff, isolating high numbers of contagious residents, caring for those afflicted, and protecting staff on a scale never before experienced in this country. This nationwide, two-part study on nursing homes will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nursing homes. The first part will describe the characteristics of the nursing homes that were hardest hit by the pandemic (i.e. homes with high numbers of residents who had COVID-19 or had died). The second part will describe the strategies nursing homes have used to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on their residents and staff in the face of these unique circumstances.

Nursing Home Oversight During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Onsite surveys of nursing homes are a fundamental safeguard to ensure that nursing home residents are safe and receive high-quality care. In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, CMS directed State Survey Agencies (SSAs) to suspend standard onsite surveys and most onsite surveys for complaints. CMS directed SSAs to conduct onsite surveys in response to the most serious complaints (i.e., those involving immediate jeopardy) and complaints related to infection control, and to conduct targeted infection control surveys, which are abbreviated surveys focused on infection control policies and practices within facilities. Using recent complaint and survey data for all nursing homes, this study will examine the extent to which SSAs and CMS are conducting onsite surveys in nursing homes related to serious complaints and targeted infection control, in accord with CMS's recent guidance to suspend certain onsite surveys. We will also identify any barriers that CMS and SSAs face in conducting onsite surveys, as well as potential solutions.

Opioid Treatment Program Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The United States faces two simultaneous nationwide public health emergencies: the opioid epidemic and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Recently released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data identified that in 2018, there were nearly 47,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States. In addition, as of May 28, 2020, over 100,000 U.S. citizens had died from complications related to COVID-19. Because of the widespread transmission of COVID-19, Federal, State, Tribal, and local government agencies have recommended and implemented extensive community mitigation activities, including issuing orders to residents to stay at home and practice social distancing, to help slow and contain the spread of the virus. We plan to identify the challenges that opioid treatment programs (OTPs) are encountering during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we will identify the actions that OTPs are taking to address those challenges while ensuring the continuity of needed services and protecting the health and safety of their clients and staff.

The Food and Drug Administration's Role in Facilitating Testing for COVID-19

When the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services determines that there is a public health emergency and declares that circumstances exist justifying an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can issue an EUA under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. An EUA allows for the use of certain unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of certain approved medical products, to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. FDA issued the first COVID-19 EUA for a diagnostic test to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and issued subsequent EUAs to other laboratories. This work will examine FDA's EUA processes and any challenges it may have faced regarding EUAs for COVID-19 diagnostic tests and serological tests for antibodies developed in response to the viral infection.

Use of Medicare Telehealth Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, CMS made a number of changes that allowed Medicare beneficiaries to access a wider range of telehealth services without having to travel to a health care facility. Although these changes are currently temporary, CMS is exploring whether telehealth flexibilities should be extended. These two concurrent reviews will be based on Medicare Parts B and C data and will examine the use of telehealth services in Medicare during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first review will examine the extent to which telehealth services are being used by Medicare beneficiaries, how the use of these services compares to the use of the same services delivered face-to-face, and the different types of providers and beneficiaries using telehealth services. The second review will identify program integrity risks with Medicare telehealth services to ensure their appropriate use and reimbursement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department of Homeland Security OIG

DHS OIG Inspection

CBP and ICE’s Ability to Manage the Covid-19 Pandemic at Their Detention Facilities and Among Their Staff

DHS OIG Performance Audit

FEMA’s Federal Medical Supply Chain in Response to COVID-19

DHS OIG Performance Audit

Verification Review of DHS’ Pandemic Activities

DHS OIG Performance Audit

FEMA’s Federal Coordination Efforts in Response to Covid-19

ICE's Efforts to Prevent and Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 in its Facilities

To determine whether ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations effectively managed the pandemic at its detention facilities and adequately safeguarded the health and safety of both detainees in their custody and their staff.

Department of Housing and Urban Development OIG

Assessment of HUD’s IT Infrastructure to Support Telework Due to COVID 19

 The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you that HUDOIG’s Information Systems Audit Division is planning to do research on HUD’s IT infrastructure to support telework due to COVID 19. Our research will assist us in determining if we should conduct an audit to assess whether HUD’s IT infrastructure was prepared to and capable of supporting the agency’s workforce during mandatory telework.

FHA Default Reporting

The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you that we are researching prior audits of HUD’s Single Family Default Monitoring System to provide HUD information regarding lessons learned and risks identified in these prior audits that HUD should act on now to ensure program integrity and mitigate the risk of financial loss for COVID-19 related forbearance assistance and foreclosure moratorium related to single family loans.

FHA Partial Claims

The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you that we are researching prior audits of HUD’s partial claims loss mitigation option to provide HUD information regarding lessons learned and risks identified in these prior audits that HUD should act on now to ensure program integrity and mitigate the risk of financial loss for COVID-19 related partial claims.

HUD Emergency Shelter Grantees’ (ESGs) Progress Accessing CARES Funding for Homelessness Assistance

The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you that we are performing research regarding HUD’s Coronavirus Aid, Relieve, and Economic Security (CARES Act) drawdown levels for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG).

Department of Justice OIG

Remote Inspections of Facilities Housing Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmates during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Related Issues

The OIG is conducting a series of remote inspections of facilities housing BOP inmates during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. These inspections will assess whether BOP-managed institutions, contract institutions, and contract Residential Reentry Centers are complying with available guidance and best practices regarding preventing, managing, and containing potential COVID-19 outbreaks in correctional and residential reentry settings. The OIG’s objectives include providing information gathered during these inspections to assist BOP in mitigating the health risks arising from the pandemic.  As part of this work, the OIG is examining the Department’s and the BOP’s use of home confinement and other early release authorities provided under the CARES Act to manage the spread of COVID-19 within BOP facilities. 

Review of EOIR's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The OIG is conducting a limited scope review of the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s handling of certain challenges presented in conducting operations during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19) pandemic. The OIG will assess EOIR’s communication to staff, parties to proceedings, and the public about immigration court operations; its use of personal protective equipment; its use of worksite flexibilities; and its ability to mitigate health risks while maintaining operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Review of the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs' Administration of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Funding

The Department of Justice OIG initiated a review of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding provided through the fiscal year 2020 Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program Solicitation.  The preliminary objectives are to assess OJP's efforts to:  (1) distribute Coronavirus award funding in a timely and efficient manner, and (2) review pre-award activities to determine if Coronavirus awards were made in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and other guidelines.

Review of the U.S. Marshals Service Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The OIG initiated a review of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The review will assess whether the USMS is complying with available guidance and best practices regarding preventing, managing, and containing potential COVID-19 outbreaks in its detention settings.  The preliminary objective is to provide information gathered during this review to assist the USMS in mitigating the health risks arising from the pandemic. 

Department of Labor OIG

Audit of COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Job Corps Center Operations

Audit of DOL and States Implementation of CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Provisions

Audit of DOL’s Response to Unemployment Insurance Programs Expansion under the CARES Act

Audit of OSHA COVID-19 Whistleblower Complaint Process

Audit of Unemployment Insurance Self-Certification Fraud Detection under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

DOL-OIG Audit of OSHA's Guidance to Workplaces for Preventing Exposures to COVID-19

Department of the Treasury's Office of Inspector General

Audit of the Department of the Treasury’s Implementation of “Air Carrier Worker Support” under Title IV, Subtitle B, of the CARES Act (A-FA-20-040)

Title IV, Subtitle B, of The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), (P. L. 116-136) requires the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to provide financial assistance to air passenger, air cargo, and respective contractors (collectively referred to as air carriers), that must exclusively be used for the continuation of payments of employees’ wages, salaries, and benefits. Financial assistance is to be in an amount equal to the salaries and benefits reported to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for the period April 1, 2019 through September 30, 2019. 

Audit of the Department of the Treasury’s Implementation of “Coronavirus Relief Fund” Under Title VI of the CARES Act (A-FA-20-039)

Title VI of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), (P. L. 116-136) requires the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to make Coronavirus Relief Fund payments to each State and Tribal government, and each unit of local government that meets the conditions outlined in Title VI. Payments are to be made no later than 30 days after enactment on March 27, 2020. Title VI also authorizes our office to conduct monitoring and oversight of the receipt, disbursement, and use of funds made available to States, Tribal governments and units of local governments. 

Audit of “Air Carrier Worker Support” Certifications under Title IV, Subtitle B, of the CARES Act (A-FA-20-041)

On March 30, 2020, we sent notification of our audit of the Department of
the Treasury’s (Treasury) implementation of Title IV, Subtitle B, of The
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, (P. L. 116-136), which
requires Treasury to provide financial assistance to air passenger and air
cargo carriers (collectively referred to as air carriers) and respective
contractors, that must exclusively be used for the continuation of payments
of employees’ wages, salaries, and benefits.

Environmental Protection Agency OIG

EPA's FY2020 Compliance with the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014

This audit's objective is to conduct an independent evaluation of the EPA’s compliance with the U.S. DHS FY 2020 IG FISMA reporting metrics as well as pursue additional objectives related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

EPA's Strategies to Comply with Federal Guidelines for Reopening Facilities Closed Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The OIG plans to begin an evaluation of the EPA's response to the White House's Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. This evaluation is self-initiated and is part of the OIG's efforts to examine the impact of COVID-19. For more information, please click on the link above.

Evaluation of EPA's Information Systems' Compliance with Federal System Security Plans Requirements (revised objectives)

One objective of this audit is to evaluate elements within the System Security Plans to determine whether they provide details to allow the EPA to make decisions to secure its network during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evaluation of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's compliance with the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014

The OIG plans to assess the CSB's compliance with the U.S. DHS FY2020 IG FISMA Reporting Metrics. We have also asked our contractor to inform us of instances where CSB lacks the information to make risk-based decisions for providing security of the agency’s network during the COVID-19 disease.

Internal Controls Established to Implement Programs and Activities Funded under the CARES Act

The OIG plans to begin an evaluation concerning the internal controls established to implement programs and activities funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act. We believe this evaluation can increase the efficiency of assignments related to COVID-19.

Research for Future Audits and Evaluations Regarding Effects of Coronavirus Pandemic (SARS-CoV-2 Virus and COVID-19 Disease) on EPA Programs and Operations

The OIG plans to initiate a project to research and identify topics for potential audits and evaluations related to the EPA's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Survey of EPA On-Scene Coordinators and Managers Regarding COVID-19

The OIG plans to evaluate the EPA's protection of human health, the environment, and on-scene coordinators at emergency responses during the coronavirus pandemic caused by COVID-19.

General Services Administration OIG

Audit of PBS’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Communication and Cleaning Procedures

The GSA OIG is conducting an audit of the Public Buildings Service’s procedures to: 1) identify and communicate positive and presumed positive COVID-19 cases to building occupants, and 2) ensure that space is cleaned and disinfected in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when positive and presumed positive COVID-19 cases have been identified in GSA-managed facilities.

Monitoring of GSA Activities in Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019

The CARES Act provides GSA with $295.15M to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 domestically or internationally. The GSA OIG will monitor GSA’s implementation of the CARES Act, and issue alert reports as necessary to advise management of potential problems, including any internal control issues. As significant risks or concerns are identified, the OIG will conduct additional audit assignments to address them specifically and in more detail.

National Reconnaissance Office OIG

Evaluation of NRO's COVID-19 Pandemic Response

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is conducting an evaluation of the NRO’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response.  The objective of this evaluation is to identify any best practices implemented or challenges encountered by NRO Headquarters, and selected field sites, in responding to the pandemic while ensuring workforce safety in its secure facilities.

Areas of evaluation may include, but are not limited to, Mission Sustainment, Policy, Leadership, Facilities and Logistics, Health and Safety, Communications, and Human Resources. We will explore these objectives using the following methodologies: interviews of NRO Headquarters and field site senior leadership and management, engagement with a sample set of NRO support contractor representatives, and an enterprise survey of the NRO workforce.

Evaluation of the National Reconnaissance Office’s Implementation of Section 3610 Authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is conducting an evaluation of the NRO’s implementation of section 3610 authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  The objectives are to evaluate the NRO’s implementation of section 3610 authorized by the CARES Act and to identify preliminary impacts to NRO mission.

National Science Foundation OIG

Review of NSF’s Reopening Efforts

In response to the June 15, 2020 request from the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations, we are conducting a review of NSF’s plans and procedures for returning employees to its Federal office building. The objective of this review is to determine if NSF is employing best practices and existing guidance when deciding whether or when to require federal employees and contractors to return to the office.

Review of NSF’s Strategy for Identifying and Responding to Risks and Impacts of COVID-19

The objective of this engagement is to review NSF’s high-level strategy for identifying and responding to risks and impacts of COVID-19 on both the agency and its recipients.

Railroad Retirement Board OIG

Railroad Retirement Board’s Office of Inspector General Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Ongoing Oversight Work

The Office of Inspector General at the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has begun the process for conducting the review of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) at RRB. From the CARES Act, RRB has three separate appropriations totaling over $600 million. These appropriations allow RRB to pay extended unemployment insurance benefits, to pay enhanced unemployment insurance payments, and to waive the first valid waiting period for unemployment benefits and for sickness benefits and pay for those days. The objective of this review is to provide RRB management with information that will assist them in ensuring compliance, transparency, and fiscal accountability.

Small Business Administration OIG

Duplicate Loans Made Under the Paycheck Protection Program

 SBA OIG’s Audits Division will conduct a review of duplicate loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program. The objective is to determine whether the SBA has sufficient controls to detect and prevent duplicate loans and address vulnerabilities under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Evaluation of SBA’s Award Procedures for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Entrepreneurial Development Cooperative Agreements

The Office of Inspector General will be conducting an evaluation of SBA’s award procedures for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act entrepreneurial development cooperative agreements. Our evaluation objective is to determine whether SBA awarded the CARES Act entrepreneurial development cooperative agreements in accordance with applicable Federal laws, regulations, and other guidance.

Evaluation of SBA’s Implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Subsidy for 7(a) Loan Payments

The Office of Inspector General will be conducting an evaluation of SBA’s implementation of

the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Section 1112, subsidy for

7(a) loan payments. Our evaluation objective is to determine whether SBA has effective internal

controls to provide debt relief to 7(a) borrowers in accordance with CARES Act Section 1112

and internal policies and procedures.

Evaluation of SBA’s Oversight of the Resource Partner Associations Implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Requirements

The Office of Inspector General Audits Division will be conducting an evaluation to determine whether SBA has effective oversight to ensure the Resource Partner Associations implement the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and grant requirements.

SBA's Initial Disaster Assistance Response to COVID-19

The Office of Inspector General Audits Division will conduct an inspection to assess SBA’s initial disaster assistance response to COVID-19, including staffing adequacy, loan application volume, timeliness of disaster loan approvals, and customer service.

SBA’s Implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program

The Office of Inspector General Audits Division will conduct an inspection to assess SBA’s implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program, to include timing of implementation, lender participation, guidance provided to lenders and staff, timeliness of loan approval and disbursement, and systems used to process lender loan approvals.

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Assessment of Actions Taken to Ensure Validity of Employer COVID-19 Relief Credits certain business entities.

(Audit number: 202040633) Objective: Assess the IRS’s processes and procedures to ensure the validity of COVID-19 relief credit claims.

Assessment of Efforts to Address Backlogs of Business Taxpayer Returns Due to Tax Processing Center COVID-19 Closures

Assess the IRS’s actions to address the backlog of unworked inventory affecting business taxpayers as a result of Tax Processing Center closures. 

Information Technology Security and Operations Over Processing the Economic Impact Payment for Individuals

(Audit Number 202020626) Objective: The overall objective is to review the effectiveness of IRS systems security and operations related to the Economic Impact Payment processing. 

Processing of CARES Act Tentative Refund Claims

Assess the IRS’s efforts to ensure the accuracy and validity of tentative refund claims from reporting a carryback loss. 

Review of the Implementation of the CARES Act Economic Impact Payment for Individuals

(Audit number: 202040632) Objective: Evaluate the accuracy of the Economic Impact Payment computation and required notification of this payment.

Review of the Implementation of the CARES Act Recovery Rebate for Individuals - Economic Impact Payment Eligibility

Assess IRS efforts to ensure eligible individuals receive an Economic Impact Payment. 

U.S. Postal Service OIG

Emergency Response: Past and Present

The OIG is conducting a research project on the Postal Service’s emergency response role. The project will describe the Postal Service’s formal role in the National Response Framework and include examples of the Postal Service’s historical involvement in emergency response. The project will also describe how USPS has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The research will result in issuance of a public white paper.

 

Employee Safety-Postal Service COVID-19 Response

Our objective is to assess the Postal Service’s response to COVID-19 regarding the safety of its employees.

Impact of Pandemic on Postal Service Finances

Our objective is to assess the financial impact of the pandemic on the Postal Service’s liquidity and financial projections, costs, and cost attribution.

Mail Service During COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Our objective is to assess the financial impact of the pandemic on the Postal Service’s liquidity and financial projections, costs, and cost attribution.

Military, Diplomatic, and Other International Election Mail Preparedness

Our objective is to evaluate the U.S. Postal Service’s preparedness for processing international election mail, including military and diplomatic mail.

Processing Readiness and Service Performance of Election and Political Mail During the 2020 General Elections

Our objective is to evaluate the Postal Service’s readiness for timely processing of election and political mail for the 2020 general election.