Oversight of USAID’s Response to COVID-19

As USAID responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, OIG is implementing an organization-wide strategy to promote accountability and provide oversight for related agency programs and activities. This covers the agency’s use of supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, as well as its use of existing funds and programs to address COVID-19 around the world.

Advisory NoticeOIG issued its advisory notice, “Key Questions To Inform USAID’s COVID-19 Response,” for USAID to consider when planning and executing its response to the pandemic. The notice provides a roadmap for Agency response efforts that is linked to our Top Management Challenges report and informed by our prior and ongoing work on public health emergency response, global health supply chain, humanitarian assistance, and other relevant topics. (See our global health page for prior work related to these topics.) The key questions fall under four broad areas:

  • Managing risks to humanitarian assistance amid a public health emergency of international concern;
  • Maintaining responsibilities for planning, monitoring, and sustaining U.S.-funded development;
  • Maximizing stakeholder coordination for a global COVID-19 response; and
  • Addressing vulnerabilities and implementing needed controls in Agency core management functions.

Investigations. OIG investigators will provide fraud awareness briefings for USAID and implementer personnel that are tailored to the COVID-19 pandemic. See OIG Investigation’s COVID-19 Fraud Awareness and Reporting Fact Sheet for more information on fraud reporting and indicators specific to COVID-19 response efforts. Our investigators will also monitor instances of medical and laboratory commodity diversion, as well as program and procurement fraud. We are also:

  • Working with the U.S. Department of Justice to address fraud and other misconduct related to the pandemic, specifically through the Metropolitan Area COVID-19 Anti-Fraud Task Force, as announced by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia April 2, 2020;

  • Providing information on identifying and reporting fraud schemes.

Audits. OIG will conduct performance audits related to USAID’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic after agency programs are underway and we can gauge where our audit oversight efforts will be most relevant, timely, and effective. We are also examining our current audit portfolio to determine if there are select opportunities to incorporate COVID-19 oversight into ongoing performance audits and ongoing and upcoming financial statement, information security, and other mandated audits.

Other Reporting. OIG will identify and discuss the impacts of COVID-19 as part of its ongoing quarterly reporting on overseas contingency operations with the IGs for the Departments of Defense and State. 

We will also look to capitalize on other opportunities to prepare advisories on time-sensitive issues to help inform response efforts. To that end, we issued an Information Brief that provides information on USAID’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated challenges, as well as related oversight plans and activities. OIG prepared this informational brief to increase stakeholder knowledge and public transparency regarding these efforts. This brief reports on activities from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic through August 31, 2020.

In addition, we will provide regular updates on our website and through our semiannual reports to Congress.

Coordinated Oversight. OIG will work with its oversight partners, including other Federal OIGs, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee under the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, and GAO, to coordinate our audits and investigations and address matters of interagency or cross-jurisdictional concern.