Off by $110 billion – improper payments
The only thing the House can come up with is “levying penalties for agencies that fail to comply with accounting regulations.” What about clobbering the individuals in management who make these mistakes? How about personal accountability and public transparency? People should lose their jobs over mistakes like that.
“House tightens reins around improper payments
Legislation now puts onus on agencies to review programs susceptible to doling out improper payments
Jul 14, 2010
With an eye on the roughly $110 billion in improper payments agency made in fiscal 2009, the House today passed legislation to toughen federal accounting practices.
The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (S. 1508), which passed the Senate June 23, would require federal agencies to recover lost taxpayer dollars through audits and it levies penalties for agencies that fail to comply with accounting regulations. The bill also would strengthen the law pertaining to identifying possible fraud and addressing ongoing errors and vulnerabilities in government payment procedures.
Under the bill, agency officials must review their programs every three years to find those that are susceptible to improper payment. For those programs, officials would have to arrive at an estimate of the payments and include those numbers in financial statements. Getting tougher on agencies, the bill also would require officials to cite the causes of the improper payments and how the agency intends to redress them.
“Agencies will have to be more aggressive in adopting proven strategies to root out waste, fraud and abuse,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who introduced the bill in the Senate. “Requiring agencies to identify and recover improper payments, we’re giving agencies the tools to prevent wasteful spending from happening in the first place.””