Press Release GAO Issues New Tool Designed to Help Federal Agencies Combat Fraud

WASHINGTON, DC (July 28, 2015) - To help federal program managers combat fraud and ensure integrity in government agencies and programs, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released A Framework for Managing Fraud Risks in Federal Programs. Effective fraud risk management can help ensure that federal programs and services fulfill their intended purposes, funds are spent effectively, and assets are properly safeguarded. Too often, federal program managers are left with trying to recoup money after inappropriate payments have been made, rather than proactively managing the fraud risks in order to prevent fraud from occurring in the first place.

“Federal managers oversee how hundreds of billions of dollars are spent annually and this new conceptual framework can be a highly effective tool in helping managers fight fraud wherever it exists,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. “Although managers have made progress in dealing with fraud, embracing a more strategic approach to managing fraud risks will certainly enhance those efforts. This framework outlines guidance for developing such an approach, providing managers a host of actions ranging from ways to think about fraud risks to measuring the results of their antifraud efforts.”

The Framework describes leading practices managers can use to strategically manage fraud risks. It organizes these practices into a conceptual framework with four overarching themes: 1) creating a structure and culture conducive to combating fraud, 2) planning regular fraud risk assessments, 3) designing and implementing a strategy to mitigate fraud risks, and 4) evaluating outcomes and adapting activities, as needed, to improve fraud risk management.

The Framework provides guidance that complements other federal efforts pertaining to fraud risk management, such as the Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government; guidance promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget to report, reduce, and recover improper payments; and the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012. Each of those efforts highlights the importance of fraud risk management. Unlike those efforts, though, the Framework focuses exclusively on fraud risk management.

To develop the Framework, GAO consulted dozens of antifraud experts, including those representing Offices of Inspectors General, the Council of Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency, state and local government, the private sector, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. GAO also conducted an extensive literature review of publications on fraud risk management and obtained independent validation of leading practices from program officials.

A Framework for Managing Fraud Risks in Federal Programs is available on GAO’s website at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-593SP. For more information, contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs, at 202-512-4800.

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