Coronavirus Oversight An ongoing review of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and oversight of related spending.
To date, we’ve issued 10 comprehensive reports on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, as well as numerous other non-partisan, fact-based reports on pandemic-related topics. We’ve made 350 recommendations—94 of which have been fully implemented—and raised 18 matters for congressional consideration. Download a spreadsheet of recommendations from GAO's COVID-Related Work as of September 30, 2022: Excel Workbook (XLSX, 327KB) or Comma-Separated Values (CSV, 120KB). We will also start reporting annually in 2023.
As the number of deaths and serious illness form the pandemic drop, the need to improve the nation’s preparedness and assistance efforts for future pandemics in certain areas remain important. GAO has made the following recommendations for the CDC to:
- Define specific actions and time frames for the agency’s data modernization efforts in its strategic implementation plan.
- Work with appropriate stakeholders to develop a plan to enhance surge capacity for laboratory testing.
- Collect more complete data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among racial and ethnic minority groups.
In addition, recipient payments that were made in error in large programs like unemployment insurance and small business loans will require more checks and balances. Federal agencies made about $281 billion in payment errors in FY 2021—an increase of $75 billion from the prior fiscal year and about double the amount reported in FY 2017.
To better measure and address payment errors, GAO recommended that the Office of Management and Budget require agencies to certify their submitted data on payments. And for the Small Business Administration’s emergency loan programs to implement GAO’s recommendations to strengthen program integrity and protection against fraud. The nation’s Unemployment Insurance system was officially added to our High Risk List in June of 2022.
All COVID-19 Reports
How to Get Notified about New Reports
Be the first to know when GAO issues new work related to the pandemic and Coronavirus oversight.
- Live Feed of Reports: Embed a feed of reports on your website.
- Daily Emails: Sign up for our daily emails on this topic or several others.
- Twitter: The fastest way to know we have issued new work is to follow us on Twitter @usgao.
- Open Recommendations: Keep track of related open recommendations.
- Blog Posts: Visit the WatchBlog to read the latest COVID-19 posts.
- Previously Issued Work by Topic: Take a look at our section on Past Pandemic-Related Reports.
Our published reports and congressional testimonies that are relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic are available below. The list will be updated with new reports as they are published.
CARES Act Oversight Reports
The CARES Act of 2020 required GAO to issue regular reports on the impact of COVID-19. We issued a series of bi-monthly and quarterly comprehensive reports, and will also start reporting annually in 2023. You can view each report and its recommendations here:
COVID-19: Current and Future Federal Preparedness Requires Fixes to Improve Health Data and Address Improper Payments
COVID-19: Significant Improvements Are Needed for Overseeing Relief Funds and Leading Responses to Public Health Emergencies
COVID-19: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Accountability and Program Effectiveness of Federal Response
COVID-19: Continued Attention Needed to Enhance Federal Preparedness, Response, Service Delivery, and Program Integrity
COVID-19: Sustained Federal Action Is Crucial as Pandemic Enters Its Second Year
COVID-19: Critical Vaccine Distribution, Supply Chain, Program Integrity, and Other Challenges Require Focused Federal Attention
COVID-19: Urgent Actions Needed to Better Ensure an Effective Federal Response
COVID-19: Federal Efforts Accelerate Vaccine and Therapeutic Development, but More Transparency Needed on Emergency Use Authorizations
COVID-19: Federal Efforts Could Be Strengthened by Timely and Concerted Actions
COVID-19: Brief Update on Initial Federal Response to the Pandemic
Report Suspected Fraud to GAO
Federal agencies are responsible for ensuring that all the funds from the record $2 trillion stimulus package end up where they’re supposed to. GAO has been tasked with tracking that money. If you suspect waste, fraud, or abuse of stimulus funds, you can help us out by using FraudNet to report your concerns. Read April 10, 2020 press release.
FraudNet is a GAO program for the public, government workers, and contractors to report allegations of improper activities in the federal government—including fraud, waste, or abuse of funds provided under the CARES Act.
Contacts and Resources
- View a summary (PDF, 2 pages) of the COVID-19 work we’ve done as of October 2022.
- Download a spreadsheet of recommendations from GAO's COVID-Related Work as of September 30, 2022: Excel Workbook (XLSX, 327KB) or Comma-Separated Values (CSV, 120KB).
External Federal Resources Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Coronavirus.gov: Public information provided by the U.S. government related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Current public health and safety information on COVID-19.
- USA.gov Coronavirus: What the U.S. government is doing in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). View en español.