Debt Collection: Defense Finance and Accounting Service Needs to Improve Collection Efforts

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Improper payments are a long-standing problem throughout the government. The Department of Defense (DOD) has been overpaying contractors by hundreds of millions of dollars each year. For fiscal years 1994 through 1999, DOD contractors returned nearly $1.2 billion that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) had mistakenly paid them as a result of errors, such as paying the same invoice twice or misreading invoice amounts. Sometimes, however, the contractors do not promptly respond to government demands that the overpayments be returned. The Debt Management Office ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. June 29, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Improper payments are a long-standing problem throughout the government. The Department of Defense (DOD) has been overpaying contractors by hundreds of millions of dollars each year. For fiscal years 1994 through 1999, DOD contractors returned nearly $1.2 billion that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) had mistakenly paid them as a result of errors, such as paying the same invoice twice or misreading invoice amounts. Sometimes, however, the contractors do not promptly respond to government demands that the overpayments be returned. The Debt Management Office was created at the DFAS Columbus Center to deal with contractors that are unresponsive to the government's demands that overpayments be returned. GAO found that the Debt Management Office at DFAS Columbus is not effectively and proactively pursuing collections of debts assigned to it. Specifically, the Office is not (1) taking appropriate action to establish the validity of the debts that it receives for collection, (2) promptly issuing letters demanding payment, (3) actively communicating with contractors or resolving issues related to the debts, and (4) effectively using the Department of the Treasury's centralized debt collection programs to maximize collections and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service to pursue potential fraud. Ineffective and insufficient efforts by the Office are the results of both deficiencies in and lack of adherence to policies and procedures."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 29, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Debt Collection: Defense Finance and Accounting Service Needs to Improve Collection Efforts, report, June 29, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290437/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.