Policy Letter

POGO and Coalition of Organizations Support Curbing Improper Payments

Support Bipartisan “Payment Integrity Information Act of 2018”

Legislation Would Help Curb Waste and Fraud

Dear Senator:

We urge you to support the bipartisan “Payment Integrity Information Act of 2018” (S. 2948). The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently approved this important bill to help curb possible waste and fraud involving federal payments.

A major portion of potentially wasteful government spending is a category known as “improper payments,” which are payments made in the wrong amount (including both overpayments and underpayments), to the wrong people, or for the wrong reason. An estimate from fiscal year 2016 showed $144 billion in misspending that year—an all-time high (though one that may be caused partially by improved reporting). These improper payments result from insufficient financial controls and can divert dollars from where they are needed. Congress and some federal agencies have made significant progress in curbing improper payments during the past decade. However, much more needs to be done to stop the practices that lead to the wrongful expenditure of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars without proper accountability.

Among the key provisions of the Act, the legislation would:

  • Require agencies to make a more complete estimate of improper payments;
  • Focus more agency action toward preventing improper payments;
  • Provide new federal-wide tools to curb payment errors and fraud; and
  • Improve use of data analysis techniques to ferret out improper payments.

Thank you for your consideration of this important legislation. For more information, please feel free to contact Peter Tyler of the Project On Government Oversight ([email protected] or 202-347-1122).


Americans for Tax Reform


National Taxpayers Union

Project On Government Oversight

Taxpayers for Common Sense

Taxpayers Protection Alliance