OMB Launches Payment-Accountability Site

Move supports the Obama administration's goal to stop improper payments made by federal agencies.
In another effort to boost federal transparency, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has launched a Web site that allows people to view information about inaccurate payments made by government agencies.

The site -- -- supports a recent move by the Obama administration to establish a Do Not Pay list so agencies can identify individuals or organizations ineligible for government payments.

$100 billion a year is wasted in improper payments, according to the federal government, and both the Do Not Pay list and the new site are aimed at reducing or eliminating them, Peter R. Orszag, OMB's director, said in a blog post. Orszag, who has championed the use of new technology at the OMB, plans to depart his position later this month.

On the site, people can see each agency's rate of improper payments, as well as how much money was paid out erroneously. It also displays the targets federal agencies have set for reducing and recovering payments, and lists the official in charge of meeting agency targets, according to the post.

"This list is just one of many steps the administration has taken to fulfill its commitment to reduce improper payments through increased transparency, enhanced agency accountability, and new incentives for state and local governments," Orszag wrote.

The site also gives agencies an ability to show off how they're using technology-based transparency initiatives to reduce government's waste of funds by featuring agency success stories, Orszag said.

For example, the Department of Defense (DoD) deployed a business activity monitoring (BAM) tool that allowed them to save more than $700 million in improper payments in the last two years, according to the new Web site. The tool alerts the DoD to potentially problematic transactions before they are completed.

Other agencies that have used technology to help reduce the number and rate of improper payments are the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the site.