White House hopes Do Not Pay will be agencies' one-stop solution for eligibility checks


The White House is urging agencies to use a new Do Not Pay tool to prevent improper payments. Agencies must develop a plan for conducting pre-payment eligibility reviews using Do Not Pay and submit a draft plan to OMB by June 30, according to an April 12 memorandum (.pdf) from Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeff Zients. By July 31 OMB will provide comments to agencies so that by August 31, agencies can finalize their plans.

Agencies should keep using the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System as well, says the memo, but chief financial officers and chief acquisition officers should "evaluate the extent to which the information provided by the Do Not Pay solution can assist contracting officers as a complement to FAPIIS." 

The tool fulfills plans laid out in a June 2012 memo, where President Obama called for a "single point of entry" for agencies to check a variety of databases--such as the Death Master File and the Excluded Parties List System--before determining benefit eligibility or granting contract awards. In addition to the standard database portal, Do Not Pay also has "data analytics services" that glean information from other lists, such as zip code data, prison information and some privately-available data sets, says the memo.

"The sources are augmented by advanced data analytic activities for identifying trends, risks and patterns of behavior that may warrant further review by the agency," writes Zients in the memo.

The Treasury Department, Government Printing Office and the National Archives Records Administration are already using the tool and the departments of Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, Labor and the Small Business Administration "will be on board in the coming months," wrote Danny Werfel, OMB's controller in an April 12 blog post.

"By next spring, we expect every major Federal agency will be leveraging the Do Not Pay solution to combat improper payments," said Werfel.

The memo includes a sample template to help agencies draft plans, which should address process and timetables for using Do Not Pay, says Zients.

Zients says agencies can also use the plan as "an interim step" toward possibly piloting "Fast Alert"--an eligibility-check system now under development that expands on the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board's recovery operations center.

Do Not Pay is the latest in a series of White House-led efforts to address improper payments under its Campaign to Cut Waste. Werfel said the government has already exceeded the administration's 2010 goal to recapture $2 billion in overpayments to contractors by the end of fiscal 2012.

"The Administration surpassed this goal nearly 6 months ahead of schedule, due in large part to hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries from the Medicare Fee-for-Service Recovery Audit Contractor Program," wrote Werfel.

For more:
- visit the Do Not Pay website
- download Zients' memorandum (.pdf)
- see the White House blog post

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