Federal Manager's Daily Report

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Collaboration, outreach and transparency were among the common themes of a new set of lessons learned about pandemic relief spending in the latest report by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

“Congress and leaders across federal agencies need to know what programs are highly susceptible to fraud during a crisis like the pandemic. In some cases, agencies implemented corrective actions when shortcomings were identified. But in other cases, Congress and agency leaders still need to take action to reduce the possibility of fraud,” it said.

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The group’s second report on lessons learned include that allocations of benefits should be based on need, rather than simply on population; that new programs need more outreach to increase public awareness and participation; that oversight entities such as agency IGs need to be provided with comprehensive and timely data about the programs; that coordination is needed among agencies, OMB, IGs and the oversight committee before programs launch; and that better tracking is needed of money that passes from a direct recipient to a sub-recipient.

The initial report, issued last fall, cited lessons including that self-certified information should be validated before payments are made; funding should be prioritized for underserved communities; existing data sources should be tapped to determine benefits eligibility; that state and local level administrators need timely and clear guidance to get benefits out efficiently and accurately; and that recipients of funds should be clearly disclosed to the public.

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