Federal Government Launches COVID-19 Funding Oversight Activities

This week, several federal developments related to the oversight and accountability of COVID-19 response funding and activities occurred. Below, we detail these actions:

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Names Leader, Establishes Website

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) this week announced a series of developments, including the appointment of its executive director and U.S. House of Representatives Democratic members. Recall, the PRAC was established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to coordinate oversight efforts of federal Inspectors General of the $2.4 trillion in federal emergency relief for individuals, businesses, hospitals, and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert A. Westbrooks was appointed to serve as the PRAC Executive Director. Westbrooks has held various independent oversight leadership positions at the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Department of Transportation OIG, U.S. Postal Service OIG, and National Archives and Records Administration OIG.

PRAC also launched a new website, www.pandemic.oversight.gov, to provide the public with several resources regarding the federal pandemic spending, including allocations of federal funding authorized by four emergency COVID-19 relief laws, oversight reports published by federal OIGs, listings of ongoing pandemic-related work, and fraud, waste, abuse, or whistleblower information.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Names COVID-19 Crisis Select Committee Membership

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday this week announced the appointment of seven U.S. House Members to serve on the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. The select committee was established by the CARES Act and is tasked with exercising oversight of all aspects of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaker Pelosi appointed the following Democratic House Members to the Select Committee:

  • Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina (Committee Chair)
  • Chairwoman Maxine Waters of California, House Financial Services Committee
  • Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney of New York, House Oversight and Reform Committee
  • Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez of New York, House Small Business Committee
  • Chairman Bill Foster of Illinois, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of Science, Space, and Technology Committee
  • Chairman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of Oversight and Reform Committee
  • Chairman Andy Kim of New Jersey, Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access of Small Business Committee

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California is reportedly considering whether Republicans will participate in the select committee.