The PJ Tatler

White House Launches New Program to Stop Paying Dead People

The Obama administration launched a new program today with the intention of not making payments to dead people or inking contracts with companies that have tried to defraud the government.

Do Not Pay, hosted on the Treasury Department’s site, is supposed to help agencies screen payment recipients by pulling together multiple databases and “advanced data matching and analytics to identify and stop wasteful errors before they happen.”

The Office of Management and Budget directed all agencies to start using the web portal today. The White House framed it as necessary to move forward without legislation because Congress had not acted on President Obama’s previous requests for similar proposals.

“The American people expect their public servants to be good stewards of their tax dollars,” Obama said in a statement. “That’s why my Administration has made every effort to cut waste, from stopping payments to the deceased to cracking down on fraud. I urge Congress to join these efforts by passing the reforms I put forward in my budget.”

The administration claimed that its reform efforts sent the government-wide improper payment rate to 4.7 percent in 2011 as compared to 5.4 percent in 2009.

“By the spring of next year, every major government agency will be leveraging the Do Not Pay solution to combat improper payments and cut down on government waste,” the White House said. “In conjunction with other innovative tools such as those pioneered by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board under the Recovery Act, the Do Not Pay solution represents critical progress in rooting out waste, fraud and abuse and protecting taxpayer dollars.”