Recovery Act Oversight
OIG's duties under the Inspector General Act of 1978 include oversight over programs funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).
OIG will assess whether HHS is using Recovery Act funds in accordance with legal and administrative requirements and is meeting the accountability objectives defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
OIG's accountability objectives, as set by the OMB include determining whether:
- Funds are awarded and distributed in a prompt, fair, and reasonable manner.
- The recipients and uses of all funds are transparent to the public, and the public benefits of these funds are reported clearly, accurately, and in a timely manner.
- Funds are used for authorized purposes, and instances of fraud, waste, error, and abuse are mitigated.
- Projects funded under the Recovery Act avoid unnecessary delays and cost overruns.
- Program goals are achieved, including specific program outcomes and improved results on broader economic indicators.
OIG auditors work with HHS management to minimize risk; assess controls to prevent fraud, waste and abuse; and conduct audits to ensure that program goals are achieved and Recovery Act funds are accurately tracked and reported. OIG work is coordinated with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, and other audit and law enforcement organizations at the Federal, State, and local levels. Recovery Act activities include:
- reviewing agency spending plans prepared by HHS management;
- outlining steps that HHS management and OMB should take to obtain meaningful Single Audit coverage;
- conducting risk assessments of programs receiving Recovery Act funding, including health information technology and other non-Medicaid programs; and
- assessing recipients’ capability to manage and account for Recovery Act funds in accordance with Federal regulations.
OIG’s completed and ongoing reviews related to the Recovery Act include:
- State Medicaid Agency compliance with Recovery Act requirements;
- internal control reviews of the HHS grant award process;
- recipient capability audits of Head Start and Early Head Start grantees;
- health and safety reviews at Head Start grantees;
- State agencies’ monitoring of Children Services Block Grant program funds; and
- review of Recovery Act funds provided to colleges and universities, Community Action Agencies, and community health centers.
To ensure that Federal monies are being used for their intended purposes, all non-federal entities (States, local governments, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations) that expend $500,000 or more of Federal awards in a year are required to obtain an annual audit in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 and guidance from the Office of Management and Budget.
These "single audits" are a key tool used to drive accountability for Federal awards under the Recovery Act. Additionally, Offices of Inspectors General are required to perform quality control reviews (QCR) of single audits to ensure that they are properly performed and that unallowable costs and other noncompliance are fully reported.
These reviews are conducted in accordance with the
Council of the Inspectors General
on Integrity and Efficiency Uniform Guide for Quality Control Reviews of OMB Circular
A-133 Audits (PDF).
- May 2013 Quality Control Reviews
- April 2013 Quality Control Reviews
- January 2013 Quality Control Reviews
- October 2012 Quality Control Reviews
- August 2012 Quality Control Reviews
- March 2012 Quality Control Reviews
- November 2011 Quality Control Reviews
- June 2011 Quality Control Reviews
- April 2011 Quality Control Reviews
- January 2011 Quality Control Reviews
- December 2010 Quality Control Reviews
OIG and its special agents will:
- investigate individuals and organizations who knowingly and willfully execute schemes to defraud any HHS program, grant, or contract involving Recovery Act funds; and
- facilitate ongoing communications with Federal, State, and local law enforcement and other agencies regarding the use and distribution of HHS Recovery Act funds.
OIG conducts national program evaluations to provide HHS, Congress, and the public with timely, useful, and reliable information on the effectiveness and impact of programs funded by the Recovery Act. Specifically these evaluations will focus on health information technology. OIG evaluators are:
- reviewing how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are overseeing Recovery Act payment incentives for Medicare and Medicaid providers to adopt certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology,
- examining Medicare and Medicaid payments to providers for adopting EHRs to determine if any payments were made in error,
- assessing CMS compliance with new breach notification requirements related to theft of personally identifiable information and oversight measures to deter medical identity theft within Medicare; and
- reviewing the Health Center grantee progress in implementing EHRs and Health Resources and Services Administration’s oversight of grantees’ efforts.
The Recovery Act provides explicit protections for certain individuals who create disclosures relating to funds covered by the Recovery Act.
Specifically, the Recovery Act prohibits any non-Federal employer receiving Recovery Act funds from discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against any employee as reprisal for that employee's disclosing to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, an Inspector General, the Comptroller General, a member of Congress, a State or Federal regulatory or law enforcement agency, a person with supervisory authority over the employee, a court or grand jury, or the head of a Federal agency or his/her representatives information that the employee believes is evidence of:
- gross mismanagement of an agency contract or grant relating to covered funds;
- a gross waste of covered funds;
- a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety related to the implementation or use of covered funds;
- an abuse of authority related to the implementation or use of covered funds; or
- a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to an agency contract or grant awarded or issued relating to covered funds.
Any non-Federal employer receiving covered funds is required to post notice of the rights and remedies provided under this section of the Recovery Act.
If you have a whistleblower protection complaint, report it to the OIG Hotline.
Recovery.gov is a website that lets taxpayers figure out where the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going. This website is the main medium for enabling citizens to monitor the progress of the recovery. It features information on how the Act is working, tools to help users hold the Government accountable, and up-to-date data on fund expenditures.
The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to coordinate and conduct oversight of funds distributed under this law in order to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.
HHS is responsible for an estimated $137 billion that has been made available through the Recovery Act in order to produce more jobs, expand health care and the health care workforce, provide an advance payment on health reform priorities in health information technology (Health IT), prevention, and Comparative Effectiveness Research, expand social services, and speed progress in biomedical research.
Federal agencies are establishing their own Recovery Act web pages and are posting weekly reports. These reports contain information on funding, major actions taken so far, and those actions planned for the near-term.\
The GAO is responsible for helping promote accountability and transparency to ensure that Recovery Act funds are used as specified. GAO conducts bimonthly reviews on how funds are used by States and localities; reviews specific areas such as trade, education, small business, and health care; and comments on reports filed by fund recipients.
Grants.gov is the central information source on Federal Government grants. The Grants.gov Recovery Act page provides links to information from all Federal departments and agencies with Recovery Act-funded grant opportunities.
The National Procurement Fraud Task Force was created to promote the prevention, early detection and prosecution of procurement fraud. The task force’s Grant Fraud Committee published this white paper report to provide recommendations to enhance the grant oversight process and identify best practices for combating grant fraud.
Many State Government websites now have their own Recovery web pages that help explain how they are spending allocated Recovery Act funds.
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Unimplemented OIG recommendations summarized.
FY 2013 Work Plan
OIG projects planned for 2013.
Significant OIG activities in 6-month increments.