The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted on July 20 to approve legislation that aims to use data analytics and other technologies to help reduce and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in Federal government programs.

The committee’s approval of the measure sends the Strengthening Tools to Obstruct and Prevent Fraud Act of 2022 to the full House for consideration. The bill does not appear to have a Senate companion measure.

The bill filed by House Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerry Connolly, D-Va., earlier this month would, among other things:

  • Set clear standards for designating Federal programs as high or low risk for fraud and improper payments; and
  • Require agencies operating programs with fraud risk to implement appropriate proactive, preventative, and analytics-driven measures to respond to fraud threats.
  • Require the Office of Management and Budget to set up a Federal Real Antifraud Unified Directorate that would help agencies and provide tech support to create “outcomes-based initiatives” to reduce fraud;
  • Require the new OMB office to establish an online, public dashboard that tracks cost savings and fraud-fighting efforts.

“Tackling improper payments is imperative to ensuring taxpayer dollars are going where Congress intends, but the reality is previous attempts to prevent and reduce fraud in the federal government have not worked,” Rep. Connolly said on July 20.

“This bill, which was informed by the Subcommittee hearing we held earlier this year, will empower agencies to use data and analytics to reduce improper payments and will make it easier for families and businesses to access essential government services,” he said. “We will continue to work toward enactment so that we may finally begin making progress in our efforts to prevent fraud and abuse in our federal government.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.