Presidential and Congressional Transition
REDUCE IMPROPER PAYMENTS
Challenge: Improper Use or Payment of Federal Funds
Since fiscal year 2003 cumulative improper payment estimates have totaled over $1 trillion. In fiscal year 2015 alone, federal agencies made an estimated $136.7 billion in improper payments—e.g., overpayments, underpayments, payments made to ineligible recipients, or payments that were not properly documented. While fraudulent payments are considered improper, not all improper payments are the result of fraud.
The federal government has consistently been unable to determine the full extent of improper payments because of incomplete, unreliable, or understated estimates, among other things. The government is also unable to reasonably assure that appropriate actions are taken to reduce improper payments.
Until the federal government can determine the full extent of improper payments and take effective actions to reduce them, it cannot be assured that taxpayer funds are adequately safeguarded.
Key Actions Needed:
- Identify all programs and activities that may be susceptible to significant improper payments.
- Develop reliable methodologies for estimating improper payments.
- Report improper payments as required by statute.
- Analyze the root causes of improper payments and implement effective corrective actions to prevent or minimize improper payments.