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Thursday, June 26, 2008

GAO: Hold managers accountable for improper payments

Agencies are not doing enough to hold their managers accountable for curbing improper payments, the Government Accountability Office says.

Under the 2002 Improper Payments Information Act, each agency is required to estimate the amount of over- and under-payments that its programs make each year and report on the measures being taken to reduce those.

At some agencies, annual performance evaluations for managers consider their effectiveness in estimating and curbing improper payments, GAO said. But GAO said it could not determine if managers’ success in setting improper payment reduction targets and meeting those targets are factors in their performance evaluations or in pay and bonus decisions.

Additional guidance and standards on how agencies should hold their managers accountable for reducing improper payments may be needed, GAO said.

The recommendations are in a June 20 letter to Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on federal financial management, government information, federal services, and international security.

-Reeta Toivanen, FederalTimes.com

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