WASHINGTON — Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), ranking member and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced legislation to curb waste and fraud across federal agencies. The Improper Payments Coordination Act of 2015 (S.614) would improve existing programs, requirements and procedures established to identify and prevent improper payments.
Improper payments are payments made by agencies in error or due to fraud. According to the Office of Management and Budget, federal agencies made an estimated $125 billion in improper payments for fiscal year 2014.
“We have a responsibility to demand that federal agencies do a better job managing federal programs and delivering services more efficiently, and at a lower cost,” Ranking Member Carper said. “Although federal agencies have made improvements over the past several years, improper payments continue to cost taxpayers billions of dollars and undermine the effectiveness of the services Americans rely upon. This bill builds on past bipartisan efforts and takes common-sense steps to implement stronger program integrity measures across the federal government and ensure that agency officials have the tools they need to identify and prevent improper payments. I look forward to working with Chairman Johnson and our colleagues in the Senate on this bill and other important initiatives that can help agencies do a better job managing the resources we entrust to them.”
“The legislation will help ensure the integrity of federal payments to companies and individuals and will prevent the government from wasting taxpayer money and get us closer to ending subsidies to dead people,” Chairman Johnson said.
The Improper Payments Coordination Act of 2015 builds upon two recently enacted improper payment laws championed by Senator Carper, which were also designed to strengthen the federal requirements and procedures to identify and prevent improper payments. In 2010, Senator Carper saw enactment of the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA), which established new, federal-wide policies and procedures to save taxpayers money by reducing improper payments. In 2013, Congress enacted and the president signed the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act, which further strengthened the rules requiring federal agencies to curb improper payments and mandated the establishment of a government-wide "do not pay” program.