Oversight leader says volume of datasets ‘biggest challenge’ in COVID-19 fraud prevention

Robert Westbrooks says the pandemic response accountability committee is triaging datasets as it progresses with fraud detection work.
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Processing the high volume of datasets held by federal government departments is the “biggest challenge” in COVID-19 fraud prevention, according to a top oversight official.

Speaking Tuesday, Robert Westbrooks said the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) is working quickly to triage and process first the most significant datasets.

“We’re going dataset by dataset by dataset, acquiring them and ingesting them into our system, and trying to make sense of it and put them in context with other datasets.

“The biggest challenge is the volume, quite frankly. You have to prioritize, you can’t do it all immediately, so have to pick and choose: What are your priorities today, to have the biggest impact on the criminal side, and also more importantly for all of us taxpayers, on the fraud prevention side,” Westbrooks said at Informatica’s Data in Action Summit hosted by FedScoop.


Westbrooks is the executive director of PRAC, which is an independent oversight committee within the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

PRAC is also working on cataloging lessons learned across all data-centric inspectors general fraud prevention work so that federal agencies are able to respond more effectively to future pandemics.

PRAC was created in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. It is tasked with overseeing funds distributed through the CARES Act and all follow-on pandemic relief legislation, which now totals over $5 trillion.

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