The increased focus on money the government misspends could save billions of dollars.
President Obama has signed into law a measure designed to reduce the nearly $100 billion that federal government misspent. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the federal government made $98 billion in improper federal payments.
At the signing ceremony, President Obama said those improper payments include checks sent to the wrong person, or for the wrong reason or for the wrong amount. “Payments to companies that haven’t paid their taxes, or to folks who are incarcerated or who are dead. Sometimes these payments are the results of innocent mistakes, or reflect valid claims that were paid at the wrong time, but sometimes they result from abuses by scam artists and crooked companies.” He says the amount the government misspent is more than the budgets of the U.S. Department of Education and the Small Business Administration combined.
The legislation, sponsored by Delaware Senator Tom Carper (D) and Pennsylvania Representative Patrick Murphy (D), received overwhelming support in Congress. Senator Carper says he’s been working on getting the bill approved over the last six years. “It’s a perfect example of common-sense bipartisan, bicameral legislation. This law provides the federal government with new tools to identify, recover, and hopefully prevent improper payments.”
President Obama says, “Going forward, every agency in our government will be required to conduct annual assessments to determine which of their programs are at risk of making improper payments.” Agencies will also be required to audit more programs to discover wrong payments and recover taxpayer money.