$125 billion in improper payments made last year

November 18, 2010

Today, The Washington Post reported on the federal government’s improper-payment record for fiscal year 2010. Regrettably, your government managed to send “oops” payments – checks doled out to incorrect beneficiaries, such as deceased and incarcerated persons  – totaling about $125 billion.

The federal government’s improper payments totaled about $125 billion in fiscal 2010 as unemployment insurance and Medicaid payments increased, officials said Tuesday.

The payments included about 89,000 checks for $250 each sent to dead or incarcerated people as part of the economic stimulus program.

“This is an unfortunate result of the recession and of basic math: the more that is paid out, the more paid out in error even if the overall rate declines,” OMB Deputy Director Jeffrey Zients wrote Tuesday on his blog.

——-

President Obama wants agencies to recoup at least $2 billion in improper payments by the end of fiscal 2012. In order to do so, he ordered the establishment of a government-wide “do not pay” database to stop payments made to dead or incarcerated people and debarred or suspended contracting firms.

We applaud the President’s effort. Though $2 billion is just a fraction of the total amount, it’s important that Washington consistently takes the position that no cut is too small.

Tags:, , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *