Federal Agencies Can, and Should, Do More To Combat Fraud in Government Programs

GGD-78-62: Published: Sep 19, 1978. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 1978.

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The Federal Government's economic assistance programs, amounting to about $250 billion annually, are vulnerable targets of fraud and related white collar crimes. Identification of the extent, nature, and frequency of these illegal acts, together with strong internal controls and effective audit coverage, are essential first steps in combating and preventing them.

A review of several agencies indicated that they have not been doing enough to identify fraud in their programs and that the Department of Justice has been slow in assisting Federal agencies' antifraud efforts. However, Federal agencies have recently recognized that more needs to be done, have indicated that fraud detection is now an agency high priority, and actions are being taken to bolster their current efforts.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The heads of the eight Federal agencies discussed in this report should: develop management information systems aimed at providing information on the most likely types and methods of fraud; elevate fraud identification to a high priority; take steps to make employees more aware of the potential for fraud and establish controls to see that irregularities are promptly referred to appropriate personnel; fix organizational responsibility for identifying fraud; and provide agency investigators with appropriate fraud training. The Attorney General should establish a formal plan to assist Federal agencies in combating fraud.

    Agency Affected:


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