Chairman Connolly Applauds Committee Passage of Bill to Tackle Improper Payments
Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2022)—Today, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, released the following statement after the Committee on Oversight and Reform voted favorably to approve the Strengthening Tools to Obstruct and Prevent Fraud Act of 2022 (STOP Fraud Act).
“Tackling improper payments is imperative to ensuring taxpayer dollars are going where Congress intends, but the reality is previous attempts to prevent and reduce fraud in the federal government have not worked,” said Chairman Connolly. “This bill, which was informed by the Subcommittee hearing we held earlier this year, will empower agencies to use data and analytics to reduce improper payments and will make it easier for families and businesses to access essential government services. I am grateful to Chairwoman Maloney for bringing this bill up for consideration and to my colleagues who supported it. We will continue to work toward enactment so that we may finally begin making progress in our efforts to prevent fraud and abuse in our federal government.”
On March 31, 2022, Chairman Connolly held a hearing examining the recent growth in agency improper payments. Leveraging the information gained at that hearing, the Chairman introduced the STOP Fraud Act, which would establish a dedicated antifraud office, known as the Federal Real Antifraud Unified Directorate (FRAUD) within the Office of Management and Budget. This office would assist agencies and provide technical support to help them create outcome-focused initiatives to reduce fraud and save taxpayer dollars. The office would also establish an online, public dashboard that tracks cost savings and efforts to fight fraud.
In addition, the legislation would:
- Set standards for designating programs as high risk or lower risk for fraud.
- Require agencies operating programs with a high fraud risk to implement proactive, preventative, intelligence- and analytics-driven programs to prepare for, detect, and respond to fraud threats and to demonstrate meaningful progress over a two-year period in measuring and reducing improper payments.
- Require agencies with programs that have a lower fraud risk to identify and develop at least one data analytics project aimed at reducing fraud and improper payments in those programs.
- Allow agencies to keep and reinvest a portion of their fraud retrieval efforts, authorizing agencies to reinvest those dollars in technologies and other activities related to preventing and combating fraud and reducing improper payments.