Improper Payments: Moving Forward with Governmentwide Reduction Strategies Page: 4 of 25
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In preparing this statement, we drew upon our previously issued work
related to the fiscal year 2011 audit of the Financial Report of the United
States Government, 3 as well as our other previously issued products
dealing with improper payments. Our previous products are listed at the
end of this statement. That work was conducted in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards. We are also including
improper payment information recently presented in federal entities' fiscal
year 2011 performance and accountability reports (PAR) and agency
financial reports (AFR).
Fiscal year 2011 marked the eighth year of implementation of the
Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (IPIA),4 as well as the first
year of implementation for the Improper Payments Elimination and
Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA).5 IPIA requires executive branch agencies
to annually review all programs and activities to identify those that are
susceptible to significant improper payments, estimate the annual amount
of improper payments for such programs and activities, and report these
estimates along with actions taken to reduce improper payments for
programs with estimates that exceed $10 million. IPERA, enacted
July 22, 2010, amended IPIA by expanding on the previous requirements
for identifying, estimating, and reporting on programs and activities
susceptible to significant improper payments and expanding requirements
for recovering overpayments across a broad range of federal programs.6
IPERA included a new, broader requirement for agencies to conduct
recovery audits, where cost effective, for each program and activity with
at least $1 million in annual program outlays. This IPERA provision
significantly lowers the threshold for required recovery audits from $500
3U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2011 Financial Report of the United States
Government (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 23, 2011), pp. 211-231.
4Pub. L. No. 107-300, 116 Stat. 2350 (Nov. 26, 2002).
5Pub. L. No. 111-204, 124 Stat. 2224 (July 22, 2010).
61PERA defines "significant improper payments" as gross annual improper payments in
the program exceeding (1) both 2.5 percent of program outlays and $10 million of all
program or activity payments during the fiscal year reported or (2) $100 million (regardless
of the improper payment error rate). Further, the threshold for "significant improper
payments" will be reduced in fiscal year 2014 and each year thereafter to gross annual
improper payments in the program exceeding (1) both 1.5 percent of program outlays and
$10 million of all program or activity payments during the fiscal year reported or (2) $100
million (regardless of the improper payment error rate).
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Improper Payments: Moving Forward with Governmentwide Reduction Strategies, text, February 7, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302498/m1/4/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.