Fraud, Waste, and Abuse…Oh My

Written by Tod Tompkins

On September 14, agencies reported to the administration on the methods they are implementing to respond to President Obama’s June 13 Executive Order (EO), Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government, on, well, how they are becoming more efficient. Items such as requiring secretaries to reduce spending on travel, cars, and publications, as well as doing more bulk purchasing, were key requirements for Vice President Biden as noted during the first Cabinet meeting since the EO was issued. Costco run anyone?

One of the main areas in which agencies are focusing is to recover more than $687 million from 2010 – a good three times more than what was recovered in 2009 – from fraud, waste, and abuse. Some examples, as reported by Federal News Radio, of agency plans include:

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is requiring state governments to use audits to recover billions of improper Medicaid payments
  • Department of Labor is focusing on improper payments from its unemployment insurance program

Reductions in typical fraud, waste, and abuse – the kind where “bad actors” are intentionally deceiving the government – will clearly help in the federal financial recovery efforts. What about other forms of “waste and abuse,” the kind that is occurring within government, most often unknowingly? Agencies are spending millions – often unnecessarily – on technology modernization programs. There are different approaches available that enable agencies to realize the benefits of new platforms, programming languages, and applications, while still utilizing the installed legacy environments. This specific capability can save the government multi-millions – in the near-term – while laying the groundwork for future technology updates and cost savings.

This is a reality today. Share your ideas via Facebook, Twitter, or commenting on this blog on how the government can help reduce known or unknown waste and abuse, and help the administration reach its goal of delivering an efficient, effective, and accountable government.

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