Guidehouse to Offer U.S. Conference of Mayors a Roadmap to Proactively Mitigate the Risk of Fraud, Waste and Abuse in the Use of COVID-19 Aid Programs

New York – Guidehouse announced today that Ellen Zimiles, head of the firm’s Financial Services segment, will participate in a presentation to the U.S. Conference of Mayors to discuss how cities can prevent, detect and remediate fraud, waste and abuse in connection with the use of COVID-19 relief funds. The presentation on April 7 is part of an effort organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies via its COVID-19 Local Response Initiative and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to solicit the advice of experts who have experience overseeing government stimulus and funding programs during crises to help cities access and track Federal programs and funding mechanisms to support COVID-19 response and recovery. 

The presentation by Zimiles will address the need for cities to create a control framework to minimize fraud while maximizing the Federal reimbursement process and ensuring that every dollar goes to the public use for which it was intended. Among the elements to be discussed are internal controls, vendor due diligence, field inspections, ongoing monitoring, and compliance process improvement.

“We value Guidehouse’s contribution to our COVID-19 Municipal Resource Guide,” said Rose Gill, principal at Bloomberg Associates. “Their long-established best practices in fraud mitigation are critical in establishing safeguards to protect our cities in these unprecedented times.”

“America’s cities are on the front lines in the global war against the COVID-19 pandemic,” noted Zimiles. “The federal government has taken action to provide critical funding to help fight that war which will enable localities to procure vital medical supplies and resources and provide critical assistance to citizens, local businesses, and community organizations.”   

Zimiles added, “In our experience, the desperate need for supplies and resources often opens the door for bad actors to perpetrate fraud against the significant pool of available resources, capitalizing on control weaknesses. This is a critically important time for local governments to make sure they have a robust and comprehensive control framework in place.”

“Our advice is informed by our team’s deep experience with relief initiatives for various natural and manmade disasters, including 9/11, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) following the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and Superstorm Sandy,” offered Scott McIntyre, CEO of Guidehouse.  “I am proud to have Ellen represent our firm in this important initiative.” 

About Ellen Zimiles
Zimiles has more than 30 years of litigation, compliance and investigation experience, including 10 years as a federal prosecutor. She has served as an integrity monitor for the Teamsters Union, in addition to overseeing the cleanups of the World Trade Center and Superstorm Sandy.  Zimiles has also served as a monitor for the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

About Guidehouse
Guidehouse is a leading global provider of consulting services to the public and commercial markets with broad capabilities in management, technology, and risk consulting. We help clients address their toughest challenges with a focus on markets and clients facing transformational change, technology-driven innovation, and significant regulatory pressure. Across a range of advisory, consulting, out-sourcing, and technology/analytics services, we help clients create scalable, innovative solutions that prepare them for future growth and success. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the company has more than 7,000 professionals in over 50 locations. 

Numerous Guidehouse subject matter experts shared in the development of the COVID-19 Municipal Resource Guide, including Marc Benson, Daniel Gill, Gaurav Menon, Jay Perlman, and Robert Reid. The guide would not be possible without their significant contributions.      

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