Effective stewardship of taxpayer funds is a critical responsibility of the Federal Government. While government and other reports about improper payments in Federal programs can erode citizens’ trust in government, not all reported improper payments result from fraud and some of the reported improper payments do represent payments that should have been made. This site is dedicated to ensuring the American people that its government is addressing this issue and is taking concrete steps on prevention and recovery of improper payments.
An improper payment is any payment that should not have been made or that was made in an incorrect amount under statutory, contractual, administrative, or other legally applicable requirement. The term “improper payment” consists of two main components (1) improper payments resulting in a monetary loss to the Government and (2) improper payments that do not result in a monetary loss to the Government. Monetary loss occurs when payments are made to the wrong recipient and/or in the wrong amount. Improper payments that do not result in a monetary loss include under-payments and payments made to the right recipient for the right amount, but the payment was not made in strict accordance with statute or regulation. Although working to reduce all improper payments is important, prevention of improper payments resulting in a monetary loss is the federal government’s highest priority.