Government Agencies Improperly Spent 174 Billion Dollars

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The Government of Accountability Office recently published their annual report of improper payments for fiscal year of 2019. The agency reported improper payment estimates for that fiscal year totaled about $175 billion, based on improper payment estimates reported by federal programs, an increase from the fiscal year 2018 total of $151 billion. Of the $175 billion, about $6.7 billion was listed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, mostly from food assistance programs. Up 658 million dollars from the 2018 fiscal year for the Department of Agriculture, farm programs were credited for $1.064 billion in improper payments. More specifically, FSA’s Agriculture Risk and Price Loss Coverage lead the improper payments of 612 million dollars followed by Risk Management Agency’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Program Fund which was said to have improperly paying out 282 million dollars.

Improper payments, payments that should not have been made or that were made in incorrect amounts, continue to be an area of fiscal concern in the federal government. Improper payments have been estimated to total almost $1.7 trillion government-wide from fiscal years 2003 through 2019. However, the federal government’s ability to understand the full scope of its improper payments is hindered by incomplete, unreliable, or understated agency estimates; risk assessments that may not accurately assess the risk of improper payment; and agencies not complying with reporting and other requirements in the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA).

The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA), among other things, requires federal agencies’ inspectors general (IG) to annually determine and report on whether the agencies under their jurisdiction have complied with IPERA criteria. IGs’ annual IPERA compliance reports help reasonably ensure that improper payment estimates are accurate, reliable, and complete and that Congress has information on agencies’ efforts to address improper payments.

Monetary Losses according to the Office of Management and Budget, represents an amount that should not have been paid and in theory should or could be recovered. This year’s report claims about 74.6 billion dollars of the governmentwide estimates was reported as monetary loss.

 

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United States Government Accountability Office

Northern Ag Network – 2020


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