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Interim Report - Review of the Office of Justice Programs' Administration of CARES Act Funding

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2020
8 pages
The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) presents an interim report on the DOJ's Office of Justice Programs' (OJP's) administration of funds under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provided just over $2 trillion in funding to strengthen the national response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Approximately $1.007 billion of CARES Act funding was appropriated to DOJ, with $850 million (84 percent of the total) allocated to OJP to award grants for the purposes of preventing, preparing for, and responding to the Coronavirus. OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) issued a solicitation for the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding grant program (CESF) on March 30, 2020. All CARES Act funding appropriated to OJP: will be awarded through the CESF. The CESF aids eligible states, U.S. Territories, the District of Columbia, units of local government, and tribes in addressing Coronavirus issues. The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is reviewing OJP's administration of CARES Act funding, with the preliminary objectives of assessing OJP's efforts to 1) distribute Coronavirus award funding in a timely and efficient manner and 2) review pre-award activities to determine whether Coronavirus awards were made in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and other guidelines. The OIG's preliminary work indicates that OJP's administration efforts in CARES Act funding are apparently effective and appropriate as of May 29, 2020; however, OJP's CESF monitoring strategy may benefit from oversight protocols that consider factors such as recipients who are in areas with few positive COVID-19 test results or deaths. OJP should also consider regularly informing CESF recipients of fraud schemes that target CARES Act funds. This report briefly describes categories of known CARES Act fraud schemes.