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GAO – federal government misspent $175 billion in fiscal 2019

Federal Agencies’ Estimates of FY 2019 Improper Payments – March 2020 – GAO-20-344 – “Agency-reported improper payment estimates for fiscal year 2019 totaled about $175 billion, based on improper payment estimates reported by federal programs, an increase from the fiscal year 2018 total of $151 billion. Of the $175 billion, about $121 billion (approximately 69 percent) was concentrated in three program areas: (1) Medicaid, (2) Medicare, and (3) Earned Income Tax Credit. About $74.6 billion (approximately 42.7 percent) of the government-wide estimate was reported as monetary loss, an amount that should not have been paid and in theory should or could be recovered. However, the federal government’s ability to understand the full scope of its improper payments is hindered by incomplete, unreliable, or understated agency estimates; risk assessments that may not accurately assess the risk of improper payment; and agencies not complying with reporting and other requirements in the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA)…”

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