In a memorandum to federal agency heads, President Obama directed them to review available databases and other relevant information to determine the eligibility of the recipient before they release federal funds for payment. This is the latest in a string of guidelines and directives issued by the administration to address waste, fraud, and abuse in federal programs and recapture improper payments (see Highlights March 26, 2010). Under the guidance, before making a federal payment, agencies will be required to first check a so-called “Do Not Pay List” comprised of Social Security Administration’s Death Master File, GSA’s Excluded Parties List System, Treasury’s Debt Check Database, HUD’s Credit Alert System and Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System, HHS IG’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities, and other databases designed specially by OMB. In the memorandum, the president said “prevention of payment errors before they occur should be the first priority in protecting taxpayer resources.” If a recipient is flagged as ineligible, payment will not be made, consistent with existing law. Each agency will submit a plan to OMB within 90 days that includes its pre-payment and pre-award procedures and a list of the databases that it checks under these procedures. The directive requires OMB within 120 days to integrate databases and establish a single point of entry that can used by all agencies to review them. OMB will issue guidance to agencies within 180 days.
President directs agencies to check “Do Not Pay” lists before they pay
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