Since 2004, twenty large federal agencies admit paying out an astonishing $1.2 trillion in improper payments. That amounts to more than one-quarter of President Trump’s proposed $4.7 trillion budget for 2020. Last year, these improper payments totaled $140 billion – that’s about $12 billion per month.
But what exactly is an improper payment? Federal law defines the term as “payments made by the government to the wrong person, in the wrong amount, or for the wrong reason.”
In other words, there’s a lack of basic in-house financial controls within the largest federal agencies. When people or companies receive money they don’t deserve, it erodes our trust in government, our economy and government’s ability to finance everything from defense to health care.