U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Pandemic Relief

Teach in mask in front of classrom

Pandemic Relief Aid Oversight

Three measures were signed into law providing the U.S. Department of Education (Department) with more than $280 billion to assist States, K–12 schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education in meeting their needs and the needs of their students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic—the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act (March 2020), the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021-Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (December 2020), and the American Rescue Plan (March 2021). The OIG, as the independent oversight arm of the Department, is working to ensure that education-related coronavirus response funds are used as required and reach the intended recipients. We do this by conducting independent audit and other reviews, and by investigating allegations of misuse, theft, and other criminal activity involving these funds. Below you will find our plans, products, and additional information specific to our pandemic relief aid oversight work.

Oversight Plans and Agency Challenges

Pandemic Relief Aid Fraud—Identify and Report it!

Criminals and bad actors are targeting pandemic relief funding, seizing on every opportunity they can to steal or intentionally misuse this money—including preying on students, schools, and Federal, State, and local government agencies. The following information provides information on what education-related pandemic fraud looks like and how you can help identify and report it.

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

The CARES Act establishes the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), composed of inspectors general from across the Federal government. The PRAC is tasked with conducting, coordinating, and supporting inspectors general in their oversight of trillions of dollars in emergency Federal spending to address the economic impacts of the pandemic. The CARES Act named nine specific agency inspectors general to the PRAC, including the OIG for the U.S. Department of Education. Inspector General Sandra D. Bruce represents the OIG on the PRAC, chairing its GAO, State and Local Subcommittee. Inspector General Bruce is also a member of the PRAC’s financial sector oversight work group. Visit the PRAC’s website for more information.

Federal-State Coronavirus Task Forces

The OIG is working with our law enforcement colleagues across the country to stop pandemic relief aid fraud. This includes participating on Federal-State coronavirus fraud tasks forces. These task forces are working to quickly address fraud complaints and to identify, investigate, and prosecute fraud related to the pandemic. You can find out more about these task forces and the scams and schemes they are stopping via the U.S. Department of Justice coronavirus fraud website.

OIG Completed and Ongoing Audit-Related Work

Below you'll find our ongoing and completed pandemic pandemic relief oversight work.


Elementary and Secondary Education Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER)

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds (GEER)

Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF)