Update: Investigations Under the CARES Act Ramp Up Even as Oversight Roles Remain Vacant

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Bass Berry & Sims – To oversee the disbursement of funds and to curb fraud and misuse, the CARES Act created various oversight and enforcement mechanisms. Notable among these is the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery. The SIGPR has broad powers to audit and investigate waste, fraud, and abuse involving hundreds of billions of dollars in CARES Act funds. Additional primary oversight bodies include the Congressional Oversight Commission, which is tasked with monitoring how the Administration allocates CARES Act funds, and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, established to promote transparency and oversight of the federal government’s COVID-19 response.

President Trump’s nomination of Brian D. Miller for SIGPR was advanced to the Senate floor on May 12, but has not been confirmed. Congress has not appointed a chair for the Congressional Oversight Commission. Glenn Fine’s removal in April from his position as Acting Department of Defense Inspector General, made him ineligible to continue as the PRAC chair, leaving that position vacant. Nonetheless, investigations into potential misuses of disbursed funds have begun.

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