Davis Calls for Hearing on Electronic Benefit Transfer
Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, today asked for a hearing to explore how government can encourage more agencies to make federal benefits payments electronically.
Davis cited a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, released today, that said the federal food stamp program, which disburses all benefits electronically, and Social Security retirement insurance, which disburses nearly 90 percent through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), have realized significant savings by abandoning paper-based payments. The GAO recommended Treasury increase outreach to other agencies to promote the switch to EBT and that agencies could promote EBT by requiring recipients to receive benefits electronically or by making EBT the default option for disbursement.
"[EBT] reduces costs and increases the convenience, timeliness and security of payment delivery," Davis wrote in his letter to the committee chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. "This hearing could explore the benefits of EBT historically, the barriers or disadvantages associated with further expansion and potential options and strategies" to increase EBT use.