Friday, June 18, 2010
President Obama issues a memo directing that a Do Not Pay List be established to stop improper and erroneous payments before they go out.


This morning I attended a White House event where Vice President Biden announced a new effort to use analytic tools to stop improper and erroneous payments before they go out.
Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag began the briefing with a demonstration of a fraud mapping tool being used by the Recovery Accountability Transparency Board (RATB) to manage fraud and abuse in Recovery Act programs.   The RATB has deployed a cutting-edge tool that leverages the latest technologies in data capture and analytics. The tool gathers enormous quantities of information in real time and then analyzes the data and helps connect the dots to identify indicators of possible fraud or error.
Orszag introduced Vice President Biden as “Sheriff Joe” because of his continuing efforts to curb fraud and abuse in Recovery Act programs. According to the Vice President, the government has made 170,000 Recovery Act payments – and received only 3,059 complaints and only 317 open investigations. According to the Vice President: “So far, the dog hasn’t barked.” 
The Vice President then announced that today the President issued a memo directing that a Do Not Pay List be established, a single source through which all agencies can check the status of a potential contractor or individual. This will allow federal agencies to access information in a more timely and cost effective manner and will help reduce improper payments.  
To combat improper payments as the single Do Not Pay List is being set up, the Administration is expanding the use prepayment tools across government, and doing it first at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the two programs it runs. They are starting at CMS since Medicare and Medicaid combined had a about $65 billion in improper payments in FY 2009 – including about $47 billion in Medicare alone – with fraud being a contributor to this problem over time.