Wednesday, December 10, 2014
GAO: IRS's 24% Error Rate in Making $14 Billion/Year of Improper EITC Payments Is 2d Worst Among All Federal Programs, Violates Law
Government Accountability Office, Improper Payments: Inspector General Reporting of Agency Compliance under the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (Dec. 9, 2014):
Improper payments—such as duplicate or erroneous payments, payments to ineligible recipients, or payments for ineligible services—have been a long-standing challenge of the federal government and have annually totaled billions of dollars. For fiscal year 2013, federal agencies reported an estimated $105.8 billion in improper payments, a decrease of $1.3 billion from the prior year revised estimate of $107.1 billion. Based on our review of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) data, the $105.8 billion estimate was attributable to 84 programs across 18 agencies (see enc. I). Fiscal year 2013 marked the 10th year of implementation of the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (IPIA), Five programs accounted for approximately $82.9 billion, or 78 percent of the total improper payments estimate in fiscal year 2013 (see enc. II for a list of the five programs with the largest estimates for fiscal years 2011 through 2013).
Although the OIGs have reported improvements by some agencies in certain areas over the 3-year period, the OIGs for several agencies have not reported agency improvements in meeting planned reduction targets or lowering improper payment error rates to less than 10 percent. For example, according to the OIG reports, USDA’s School Breakfast and Lunch programs, Treasury’s Earned Income Tax Credit program, and SBA’s Disaster Assistance Loans program have not met planned reduction targets for the past 3 fiscal years, and their reported error rates have been among the highest reported error rates in the government, ranging from 16 to 28 percent for the past 3 fiscal years.