Bipartisan Reform Enhances Reporting and Oversight of Improper Payments

Improper payments through federal programs have been a persistent problem costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars every year. The Government Accountability Office's (GAO) most recent annual report on waste found that in 2023 there was $236 billion worth of improper payments across 71 programs. The total volume is even larger because that estimate does not include data for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Project-Based Rental Assistance program, and other programs likewise susceptible to improper payments.

To reduce this wasteful and fraudulent spending within the federal government, Representatives Blake Moore (R-UT) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) introduced the Enhancing Improper Payment Accountability Act (H.R. 8343). The bill will be considered in a House Budget Committee hearing on Thursday.

Pursuant to a recommendation from GAO, this reform bill would require the head of each federal agency to identify new programs with outlays over $100 million that are susceptible to significant improper payments. In addition, the bill would enhance transparency of wasteful spending by requiring that agencies include their anti-fraud and fraud-risk management efforts in their annual financial reports to Congress, and it would require that the President's annual budget submission to Congress include improper payment information or a detailed explanation of why a report was not submitted.

By requiring federal agencies to strengthen reporting requirements of programs vulnerable to significant improper payments, Moore and Spanberger's reform bill aims to curb wasteful spending. The bipartisan Enhancing Improper Payment Accountability Act advances fiscal responsibility and safeguards taxpayer funds.