Today, Sen. Tom Carper celebrated the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's approval of companion legislation to his bill that strengthens federal agencies efforts to identify, prevent and recover waste and fraud. Sen. Carper's bill, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 builds on the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA), which was signed into law in July 2010, by taking additional steps to identify, prevent and recover improper payments by federal agencies. The House bill (HR 4053) was introduced by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Todd R. Platts (R-Pa.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).
Federal agencies made an estimated $115 billion in improper payments in FY 2011, which represents a roughly $6 billion reduction from the previous year. Sen. Carper's bill, like the House bill, would create a do-not-pay initiative, help prevent improper payments to deceased individuals, and increase efforts to recover improper payments. The Senate approved Sen. Carper's Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 on August 2 of this year.
"I thank my colleagues on the House Oversight Committee for recognizing the importance of this legislation to curb waste and fraud in the federal government," said Sen. Carper. "Although we have made great strides in curbing improper payments in the past year, we still have a ways to go to improve transparency and make agencies and agency leadership more accountable for better protecting the scarce taxpayer dollars we entrust them with. We simply can no longer afford to waste almost $115 billion annually. The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 takes the federal government's efforts to the next level and will give agencies stronger and more effective tools to find, prevent, and recover improper payments, whether made in error or due to fraud. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House to see that this bill makes it to the President's desk soon."
In February, Sen. Carper testified in front of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management on federal improper payments and his work on the issue. To view an archived webcast of the hearing, please click here. Sen. Carper also chaired a hearing of his Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management regarding the same topic on March 28.