>>Fraud and Abuse in Federal Programs | Downsizing the Federal Government
This is a must read report! click on the above.
As part of the Health Care Bill the Dems and Obama claimed that cutting fraud and abuse would help pay for the program and wrote this in the bill. Well if it could be done why were they not doing it?? Why did they feel they must wait to start cutting out criminal behavior until after the bill was passed? Because what they were saying was just plain old horse manure! The only real way to cut fraud and abuse of government programs is to downsize government and stop about 90% of the government programs. Of course even tho Obama is out shouting about cutting fraud and abuse as he campaigns around the country trying to sell the American public on the already passed Health Care Bill this is hardly what he really wants. He wants the abuse to continue until the country is bankrupt. That is the plan. Overload the system until it breaks and then take over and rebuilt in the socialist image the reformers want.
If you want an eye opening experience check out this article. It covers only the fraud and abuse in Medicaid and Medicare, housing subsidies, student loans (which are now entirely controlled by the government!), farm subsidies, Food Stamps (college students are now on food stamps!), school lunches, SSI Supplemental Security Income (really big abuse), Children’s Health Insurance program, Child Care Programs, Unemployment Insurance, Universal Service Fund, Earned Income Tax Credit, Veterans Affairs, Emergency Response, and finally the Procurement Program where the government has ware houses stuffed with supplies which they just continue to buy and then set up more ware houses to hold it. Of course the suppliers of these goods really rip off the government. Remember the $900 toilet seat?
The government knows about this abuse and in many cases knows those who are perpetuating these crimes but no one is bothering to do anything about it. We need to downsize government ! BB
What the CATO Institute has to say about recent developments:
Posted by Tad DeHaven
When the president’s health care reform was causing public angst, the administration announced a crackdown on fraud and abuse in government health programs. Now that the public is getting agitated over the president’s massive deficits, the administration says that it is going to crack down on improper payments made by all government programs, which totaled $100 billion in 2009 according to government estimates.
The administration is selling the effort as being taxpayer-friendly. But if the administration were to magically make all improper payments disappear, what would it mean for taxpayers? Probably not much unfortunately. Under the administration’s latest budget proposal, the federal government will consume a quarter of the nation’s output for years to come. Would Congress or the president pass on any savings from the fraud crackdown to taxpayers? I haven’t heard of any such plans. Any savings would apparently just go to expanding programs.
The best way to reduce improper payments is to reduce the overall size of government. An article in GovExec.com points out that a chief reason why the price tag for improper payments is rising is because the government keeps getting bigger:
Payment errors have increased steadily since 2004, Wanda Rogers, deputy commissioner of the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service, told attendees at a federal financial management conference in Washington on Tuesday…Rogers attributed the rise in errors to several factors, including increases in both the dollar value of outlays as well as the number of federal programs. In addition, more stringent reporting requirements have led agencies to identify erroneous payments more accurately, she said.
In reviewing the OMB’s new guidelines for how federal agencies are supposed to calculate and report improper payments, a couple of issues caught my attention.
On the role of the inspectors general, the guidelines state:
1. Nothing in this Guidance should be construed to impair the authority of an Inspector General under the Inspector General Act of 1978 or any other law. However, because the recovery audit program required by this Guidance is an integral part of the agency’s internal control over contract payments, and therefore a management function, independence considerations would normally preclude the Inspector General and other agency external auditors from carrying out management’s recovery audit program.
2. Agencies’ Inspectors General and other external agency auditors are encouraged to assess the effectiveness of agencies’ recovery audit programs as part of their internal control work on existing audits (e.g., the annual financial statement audit, or as a separate audit).
Perhaps the IGs wouldn’t have the resources to perform this function, but the language appears to be too constricting. “Independence considerations” can be a problem when the fox is guarding the henhouse as the temptation exists for program managers to massage ugly data. The IGs and the Government Accountability Office should be more involved.
When I was a budget official at the state of Indiana, I noticed that the internal audit controls in state agencies were compromised by a lack of independence. Certain agency heads weren’t fond of having problems brought to their attention, let alone the attention of our office or the public.
An example of this recently occurred in Pennsylvania where the state Department of Welfare reported an improper payment rate for state’s Medicaid program of 4 percent. However, when Pennsylvania’s auditor general’s office audited the program, it found an improper payment rate that was more than three times higher.
The issue of the quality of state oversight leads to another problem: federal programs that are managed by state and local government. The guidelines simply state:
Agencies that have Federally-funded, State-administered programs, especially any that are deemed high-priority, should work at the Federal, State, and local levels to reduce improper payments and to implement the requirements of the Executive Order.
Having researched many federal programs that are administered by the states, a common theme is that state oversight is inconsistent and usually lacking. Some states independently audit their programs to varying degrees, while others rely solely on internal controls, as in the case of Indiana. Moreover, federal oversight of state management appears to be more focused on bureaucratic compliance than conducting any serious reviews.
See this essay for more on fraud and abuse in government programs.