The inspector general at DoD has said that its oversight of how the department is responding to the pandemic includes looking into the impact of increased telework and safety of regular workplaces.
The report said top three challenges facing the Defense Department related to the pandemic are “maintaining readiness and conducting ongoing operations while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions; ensuring access to and quality of healthcare for service members and their families; and ensuring appropriate financial management and accountability of COVID-19 related funds.”
One audit among some two dozen is examining “the extent to which the DoD workforce has adequate connectivity to DoD information technology and communications needed to maintain continuity of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
The department “has demonstrated agility in supporting and implementing telework solutions for its workforce. Remote access and virtual workplace solutions stress IT infrastructure and impose new security concerns. The DoD must continue to deploy new secure capabilities and expand systems’ and networks’ capacity to enable its workforce to execute the DoD mission from remote locations where possible,” it added.
Also being investigated, it said, is “whether DoD officials adequately cleaned and disinfected DoD facilities that were occupied by individuals suspected of, or confirmed as being positive for, COVID-19”; whether the Defense Logistics Agency “conducted effective contract oversight to ensure ventilators and respirators were delivered in accordance with the timelines and quality requirements in the contracts”; and whether the department overall “paid fair and reasonable prices for equipment and supplies procured in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The IGs of almost all of the two dozen Cabinet departments and largest independent agencies are examining responses to the pandemic, according to a compilation by Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., who heads the House government oversight committee and who asked the IGs to conduct such oversight.