In an effort to curb improper payments – listed at a staggering $110 billion in 2009 – Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag announced a pair of plans, with the hope the tactics can bring a drastic reduction to the shameful pricetag.
“Improper payments” are defined by Orszag as “payments that government agencies make to people and entities who aren’t eligible to receive government money, as well as payments to the wrong person, or in the wrong amount, or at the wrong time.”
First up will be the creation of a national “Do Not Pay” list. While vendors and individuals are registered in databases across the government for improper payment violations, Do Not Pay would consolidate the many lists into one, creating an easier background search.
“(Do Not Pay) will allow Federal agencies to access this information in a more timely and cost effective manner and will help reduce improper payments made by the Government and help save taxpayer dollars,” Orszag wrote on his blog.
The second step will look to continue the reported success of Vice President Joe Biden and the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RATB).
“Everyone said it was impossible for a program this big to be administered without a significant amount of fraud and abuse, said Biden. “But because everyone knows how seriously we’re taking this, and because of the sophisticated tools we have developed to root it out, we have thus far proved all of those doubters wrong. That dog simply hasn’t barked. Of course, this isn’t just about proving people wrong – it’s about making government work better.”
The RATB’s new fraud mapping tool that “leverages the latest technologies in data capture and analytics to identify potential fraud and error” will become a major focal point of the plan. The program takes a real-time look at data to stamp-out fraudulent spending before as it happens when it is installed shortly at Medicare and Medicaid.