Views on H.R. 2811

B-202908: Published: May 6, 1981. Publicly Released: May 6, 1981.

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GAO was requested to comment on a bill to amend the Privacy Act of 1974, to increase the efficiency of Government-wide efforts to collect debts owed the United States, to require the reporting to Congress of information on debts owed the United States, and for other purposes. The bill would remove an obstacle to the Government's use of the commerical practice of reporting an individuals's delinquent financial obligations to credit bureaus. In addition, the bill provides for making agencies more accountable for their collection. The growing volume of uncollectible debts that either must be referred to the Justice Department for legal action or written off as losses shows that GAO must give agencies all appropriate tools for collecting debts without resorting to legal action. The bill provides some of these tools; however, others are needed.

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