An Official Website of the United States Government

About This Site

The Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (Pub. L. No. 107-300) PDF Document as amended by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111-204) PDF Document, requires agencies to assess every federal program and dollar for improper payment risk, measure the accuracy of payments annually, and initiate program improvements to ensure payment errors are reduced. On November 20, 2009, the President issued Executive Order 13520—Reducing Improper Payments, aimed at further intensifying efforts to eliminate payment error, waste, fraud, and abuse in the major programs administered by the federal government, while continuing to ensure that the right people receive the right payment for the right reason at the right time. As required by the President’s Executive Order, this website contains information about:

  1. Current and historical rates and amounts of improper payments
  2. Why improper payments occur
  3. What agencies are doing to reduce and recover improper payments

Federal agencies must overcome significant obstacles to address the root causes of improper payments and will need additional tools and resources to meet this steep goal. The government can achieve the greatest return on investment for the taxpayer by ensuring that improper payments are eliminated in the highest-risk programs, otherwise known as “high-error programs.” In pursuing reforms, the government must balance its responsibilities for reducing improper payments with the goal of providing fast and accurate payments to millions of beneficiaries.

Each program presents unique challenges and obstacles to overcoming the improper payment problem. Visit our high-error programs page to understand these challenges and what agencies are doing to overcome them. By strengthening financial management controls so agencies can better detect and prevent improper payments, the government can better ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and efficiently.