Financial Management: Billions in Improper Payments Continue to Require Attention

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As the steward of taxpayer dollars, the federal government is accountable for how its agencies and grantees spend funds. It is also responsible for safeguardingagainst improper payments, which include payments that should not have been madeor were made for incorrect amounts irrespective of whether the agency had effective controls in place. Reported estimates of improper payments total billions ofdollars annually. With billions of dollars at risk, agencies need to vigilantly safeguard those resources entrusted to them and assign a high priority to reducing fraud, waste, and ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. October 27, 2000.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As the steward of taxpayer dollars, the federal government is accountable for how its agencies and grantees spend funds. It is also responsible for safeguardingagainst improper payments, which include payments that should not have been madeor were made for incorrect amounts irrespective of whether the agency had effective controls in place. Reported estimates of improper payments total billions ofdollars annually. With billions of dollars at risk, agencies need to vigilantly safeguard those resources entrusted to them and assign a high priority to reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. In their fiscal year 1999 financial statement, 12federal agencies reported improper payments totalling $20.7 billion. A first step for some agencies will be to assess programs at risk and develope ways to identify, estimate, and report the nature and extent of improper payments annually. Without this fundamental knowledge, agencies will not be fully informed about the magnitude, trends, and types of payment errors occurring within their programs. Furthermore, most agencies will not be able to make informed cost-benefit decisions about strengthening their internal controls to minimize future improper payments or effectively develop goals and strategies to reduce them. In GAO's view, agencies need to consult with congressional oversight committees to develop goals and strategies to overcom this multibillion dollar problem."

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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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  • October 27, 2000

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Financial Management: Billions in Improper Payments Continue to Require Attention, report, October 27, 2000; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292685/: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.