Agencies on Track to Cut or Avoid $50 Billion in Improper Payments

February 7, 2012

Agencies are on track to meet a 2010 Obama administration target of cutting or avoiding $50 billion in improper payments by the end of September, a senior Office of Management and Budget official told a House panel Tuesday.

"We have seen error rate reductions in almost every major program with a history of significant errors," including Medicare, Medicaid and Pell Grants, OMB Controller Danny Werfel said at the hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on financial management.

In 2011, agencies reported an estimated $115.3 billion in improper payments, down about 4 percent from the revised 2010 figure of $120.6 billion. Improper payments are typically defined as money that is paid to the wrong recipient or in the wrong amount, is not used properly, or is paid without adequate paperwork. 

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