H.R. 4053: Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012

H.R. 4053

Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012

Date
December 12, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, December 12, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 4053, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) on February 16, 2012, and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Bill Summary

The bill would expand requirements for Federal agencies to identify, prevent and recover improper payments.  The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to identify and report on Federal programs at high risk for improper payments and create a standardized methodology for estimating improper payments, in order to achieve consistent reporting across the government.

The bill would modify the Privacy Act of 1974 to allow for multilateral data sharing between agencies, and would require a government-wide “Do Not Pay Initiative” to require prepayment and contract award screening against databases containing relevant payee eligibility information. The bill would also require OMB to determine a plan for curbing improper payments to deceased individuals.

Background

According to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, improper payments are “any payment that should not have been made or that was made in an incorrect amount (including overpayments and underpayments) under statutory, contractual, administrative, or other legally applicable requirements.”

Cost

CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4053 would have no significant cost over the next five years.  The bill could affect direct spending by agencies not funded through annual appropriations; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.  CBO estimates, however, that any net increase in spending by those agencies would not be significant.  Enacting H.R. 4053 would not affect revenues.