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Electronic Benefits Transfer: Use of Biometrics to Deter Fraud in the Nationwide EBT Program

OSI-95-20 Published: Sep 29, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 1995.
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined options for reducing fraud in the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) environment, focusing on the use of biometrics to verify recipients' identities and reduce the potential for fraud.


Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should develop, if feasible, a biometric verification system, such as electronic fingerprinting, for use in an EBT environment. The use of biometrics should be assessed in a limited area, such as the Southern Alliance of States, and prior to the expansion of the EBT program nationwide.
Closed – Not Implemented
The Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service has developed a long-term plan to study and explore the potential for use of biometrics in connection with the implementation of electronic benefits systems.

Full Report

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Cost controlElectronic benefits transfersElectronic funds transferFingerprintsFraudIdentity verificationIntegrated automated fingerprint identification systemLossesPublic assistance programsState-administered programsWelfare benefitsWelfare recipientsBiometricsFingerprinting