Photo of Lorraine M. CamposPhoto of Brian Tully McLaughlinPhoto of Gail D. ZirkelbachPhoto of Lyndsay GortonPhoto of Stephanie Crawford

On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (“PRAC”), composed of 21 Offices of Inspector General overseeing agencies that received the most CARES Act funds, released its first report, “Top Challenges Facing Federal Agencies: COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Response Efforts.”  The report was derived from information provided by 37 Offices of Inspector General from across the government.  PRAC is responsible for leading OIG CARES Act funding oversight.  Although the report flags concerns ranging from ballot theft to staffing shortages, the primary challenge identified in the report is the potential for fraud and abuse of Government funding under various programs.  The report emphasizes compliance and oversight concerns unique to the large amount of funding (~$2.4 trillion) appropriated under the CARES Act (and other COVID-19 legislation) in conjunction with the need to distribute these funds quickly in the midst of reduced or altered agency staffing and operations due to COVID-19.  With 37 Inspectors General asserting their commitment to addressing improper payments and fraud, companies should prioritize compliance now and ensure traceability of grant and contract monies associated with COVID-19 to prepare to respond to audits and reduce the risk of an investigation in the coming year.

Further commentary on the concerns regarding fraud and abuse identified in the PRAC report, including related to potential violations of the federal False Claims Act, will be forthcoming.

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Photo of Brian Tully McLaughlin Brian Tully McLaughlin

Brian Tully McLaughlin is a partner in the Government Contracts Group in Washington, D.C. and co-chair of the False Claims Act Practice. Tully’s practice focuses on False Claims Act investigations and litigation, particularly trial and appellate work, as well as litigation of a…

Brian Tully McLaughlin is a partner in the Government Contracts Group in Washington, D.C. and co-chair of the False Claims Act Practice. Tully’s practice focuses on False Claims Act investigations and litigation, particularly trial and appellate work, as well as litigation of a variety of complex claims, disputes, and recovery matters. Tully’s False Claims Act experience spans procurement fraud, healthcare fraud, defense industry fraud, and more. He conducts internal investigations and represents clients in government investigations who are facing fraud or False Claims Act allegations. Tully has successfully litigated False Claims Act cases through trial and appeal, both those brought by whistleblowers / qui tam relators and the Department of Justice alike. He also focuses on affirmative claims recovery matters, analyzing potential claims and changes, counseling clients, and representing government contractors, including subcontractors, in claims and disputes proceedings before administrative boards of contract appeals and the Court of Federal Claims, as well as in international arbitration. His claims recovery experience includes unprecedented damages and fee awards. Tully has appeared and tried cases before judges and juries in federal district courts, state courts, and administrative boards of contract appeals, and he has argued successful appeals before the D.C. Circuit, the Federal Circuit, and the Fourth and Seventh Circuits.

Photo of Lyndsay Gorton Lyndsay Gorton

Lyndsay Gorton is a Government Contracts counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on government contracts litigation and counseling, including government investigations, fraud matters under the False Claims Act, bid protests, and federal and state regulatory compliance. In addition…

Lyndsay Gorton is a Government Contracts counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on government contracts litigation and counseling, including government investigations, fraud matters under the False Claims Act, bid protests, and federal and state regulatory compliance. In addition to her primary government contracts practice, Lyndsay has federal court litigation experience representing a broad variety of clients in commercial litigation matters, and has led and managed teams at every stage of litigation, including discovery, dispositive motion practice, trial, and settlement. She also uses her litigation experience to assist her clients with internal investigations, risk management, and compliance.