The Defense Department is falling down in its efforts to comply with laws requiring a crackdown on improper payments, producing estimates that are “neither reliable nor statistically valid” due to long-standing weaknesses in financial reporting, an audit found.
The Pentagon’s reported $1.1 billion in improper payments to contractors and vendors for fiscal 2011 is questionable, according to a Government Accountability Office report released June 6, 2013, in part because managers did not systematically identify the programs most vulnerable to bad payouts as required under the 2002 Improper Payments Information Act and the 2010 Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act.
“By not performing a risk assessment as required by IPERA, DoD did not reap the associated benefits, including the ability to better identify root causes and develop a comprehensive and effective corrective action plan to reduce improper payments, the audit said. “DoD’s lack of a detailed and effective corrective action plan also made it difficult for department officials to monitor and measure the extent of progress made to remediate causes, hold individuals responsible for implementing corrective actions, or communicate to DoD leadership and other key stakeholders the extent of the department’s progress in remediating the causes of improper payments.”
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