Spanberger, Moore Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce Improper Payments, Strengthen Confidence in Federal Programs

The “Enhancing Improper Payment Accountability Act” Would Trigger Reporting Requirements for New Federal Programs Making More Than $100 Million in Annual Payments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Blake Moore (R-UT-01) introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent improper payments and ensure federal dollars reach the right recipients.

Improper payments — or payments made by the government that should not have been disbursed or were disbursed in the incorrect amount — are of significant concern in certain federal funding programs. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 alone, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that federal agencies had disbursed an estimated $236 billion in improper payments. The Enhancing Improper Payment Accountability Act would support the protection of taxpayer dollars by enacting more comprehensive reporting requirements for new federal spending programs and ensuring all programs are compliant with current reporting standards to provide Congress and federal agencies with the tools necessary to detect and prevent improper payments.

“Virginia taxpayers and Americans across our country deserve to trust that their federal tax dollars are going toward their intended purpose. Unfortunately, we continue to receive reports of payments that should not have been made or have been made in the wrong amount,” said Spanberger. “Improper payments and fraud not only hurt American taxpayers — but also hurt the members of our communities who federal programs are created to assist and diminish public trust in the federal government’s role managing taxpayer dollars. Congress has a responsibility to both stand up programs that address the pressing needs of Americans and protect their hard-earned dollars.”

“Over the last 20 years, the federal government has made $2.7 trillion in improper payments. Mishandling taxpayer dollars with little oversight is big government at its worst,” said Moore. “That is why I am pleased to introduce the Enhancing Improper Payment Accountability Act as part of the House Budget Committee’s package to tackle improper payments. This legislation will enact more reporting requirements for new federal spending programs, improving our ability to detect and prevent improper payments and more responsibly steward our federal resources. There are plenty of messaging bills in Congress, but this bill is squarely focused on addressing a major issue within our spending crisis.”

The Enhancing Improper Payment Accountability Act is supported by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), Project On Government Oversight (POGO), Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Audient Group, Bipartisan Policy Center Action, and LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

Specifically, the Enhancing Improper Payment Accountability Act would:

  • Designate all new federal spending programs making more than $100 million in payments annually in the first three fiscal years as “susceptible to significant improper payments” in their initial four years of operation;
  • Subject these programs to more stringent and timely improper payment reporting requirements;
  • Require agencies to report on their antifraud controls and fraud risk management efforts in their annual financial reports to Congress; and
  • Require the President’s budget request to disclose information on agencies and programs that are required to report on improper payments but do not do so.

Click here to read the full bill text.

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