Bipartisan Senators Introduce Bill to Strengthen Fraud Prevention in All Federal Programs

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) introduced legislation to improve fraud prevention efforts across the federal government.  

The Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act of 2015 (S.2133) would require federal agencies to conduct regular fraud risk assessments and develop strategies to combat fraud within their programs. Specifically, the bill would require federal agencies to implement new financial controls in order to identify and prevent fraud, and require agencies to share anti-fraud best practices with each other.  The bill would also promote within government agencies the development and use of cutting-edge data analysis tools, similar to how many in the private sector, such as credit card companies, spot patterns of fraud. Finally, the bill would strengthen accountability by requiring regular reports to Congress about agency progress in combatting fraud. Many of the provisions in the bill were based on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “A Framework for Managing Fraud Risks in Federal Programs.”

“We have a responsibility to ensure that federal agencies do a better job managing federal programs and delivering services more efficiently and at a lower cost,” said Senator Carper, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Our bill would, among other things, require federal officials to determine what areas of government spending are at the greatest risk for fraud, develop an action plan, and then share those solutions across agencies with similar programs. I look forward to working with Senator Tillis and my colleagues on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to ensure agencies are doing all that they can to protect our federal resources and taxpayer dollars.”

“This legislation is an important step in protecting taxpayer-supported programs from fraud, helping to identify vulnerabilities and close the gaps,” said Senator Tillis. “I’m pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation that establishes more accountability for agencies at the federal level, while protecting Americans from greater risk of fraud.”

“As I learned during my time as a Missouri State Auditor, good stewardship of taxpayer dollars requires government to take a critical look at itself and honestly assess and address areas that are vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse,” said Senator McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “This legislation would not only push federal agencies to take that critical look—but also act on it, and I hope in doing so it would better protect tax dollars and encourage more faith in government.”

 “I am happy to join this bipartisan effort to use the Government Accountability Office’s ideas for fighting fraud in federal programs,” said Senator Johnson, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Successful companies in the private sector simply do not tolerate the levels of fraud, waste and mismanagement that we see in the federal government. They implement safeguards to prevent it. The GAO has created a framework for federal agencies to act more like private sector companies when it comes to identifying and stopping fraud, and the federal government should implement it.”