Nicole Clowers on Oversight of COVID-19 Relief Funds
From Washington Journal recorded on Tuesday morning, focusing on the oversight of covert 19 relief funds. We're going to talk next about the spending of the Copan 19 relief funds approved by Congress over the past couple of months. We're joined by Nicki Clowers Thie Health Care, health care team manager for the Government Accountability Office. Thanks for being with us this morning. Thanks for having me tell us why the G A o did this report The cares act that was passed in in March, require us to provide ongoing oversight of the funding and activities of the federal government. Specifically, it requires us to provide on point oversight of the government's efforts to prepare for respond to And recover from the 19 and it includes US requirement for us to assess the impacts of 19 on public health, as well as the economy as well is tracked the funding and the use of that funding. The act requires us to report every 60 days starting 90 days after Anakin it so Our Joon report was our first report and will be issuing additional reports every other month. So basically almost as soon as this legislation is signed and enacted and signed, the G A. O is monitoring its spending. Absolutely. We're providing real time oversight of the funds. We have experience doing this going back over a decade ago, for example, under the trouble as that released program will provide it. Assistance to the financial sector's After the global financial crisis. We were required to provide ongoing oversight every issue of quarter to 60 days. So we have experience in ways we built on that experience to hit the ground running, provide immediate oversight and help ensure accountability and transparency of how the funds or Viennese let's look at the overall number is 2.57 in Seven trillion in spending and the and the measures passed by Congress here, the figures on each of those packages the PPP, the Paycheck Protection Program, 670 billion. The Treasury Economic Stabilization Fund, 500 billion explain expanded unemployment. Suren insurance, 375 billion economic impact payments. 282 billion public health emergency funding funding, 232 billion and 150 billion from the Exact the relief for state and local governments. Of that 2.57 trillion Nicky Clowers. How much has been spent already about $677 billion. That's what we found in our in our work and collection of data. Unfortunately, Treasury and we have not released overall spending data. Yet under Allenby guidance agencies are to report On on there's care spending starting at the end of June. So we expect the overall spending data to be available starting probably at the end of July in all this time frame. Incident. In the absence of comprehensive data, We undertook our own efforts to collect what was known about spending until we collected spending information on the on the sixth largest areas that you just mentioned. A swell a some other federal agencies and we found about $677 billion has been expended, and about $1.3 billion has been obligated. That means that the government has committed to spending one's. We're talking about the oversight of those covered 19 relief funds. How that money is spent with the hose. Nicky Klauer. She is their healthcare team manager. Welcome your comments to 027 for 8 8000 Eastern and central time zones, too. 27 for 8001 Mountain and Pacific. I have to imagine that keeping track of 2.5 million is hard enough. What were the challenges of tracking $2.57 trillion worth of spending on you? As you mentioned? Not all spent yet and and how much staff does this entail? Well, it is challenging, providing a real time oversight. As you can imagine. A CZ agencies are standing up programs there figuring out how to 1000 programs, how to track their own spending on DH decisions, change programs of all and so that requires us to be Very agile and nimble on Dwork with the agency's Tio Keep up to date on the latest developments, and so in our horses were working around the clock and frankly, too Track the dollars. Make sure we have a good understanding so we can provide that information to policy makers and the public.