Audit Reports

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Accuracy And Reliability Of DOT’s Improper Payment Reporting Can Be Improved

Required by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010
Project ID: 

The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA) encourages the elimination of payment error, waste, fraud, and abuse in Federal programs. IPERA requires annually that agencies test for and report on improper payments in their programs and that inspectors general review their agencies’ IPERA compliance. 

We found that the Department’s improper payment testing report for fiscal year 2013 included all of the Office of Management and Budget’s required IPERA reporting elements. DOT reported that its programs met IPERA’s requirement that less than 10 percent of total payments be improper and that it made specific progress in reducing improper payment estimates for the Federal Highway Administration’s Federal-Aid Highway program below IPERA’s threshold for significant risk.  However, one of the Federal Transit Administration’s tested programs—the Formula Grant Program—did not achieve its own target to reduce improper payments to 0.25 percent or less for fiscal year 2013 as set by Office of Management and Budget guidelines. DOT acknowledged that unmet target reduction rates create a risk that its Operating Administrations will not progress in reducing their improper payments. DOT’s 2013 report also included inaccurate information on the number of payments tested, improper payment estimates for 2012, and costs of DOT’s payment recapture audit. DOT officials acknowledged that its 2013 report included these inaccuracies and attributed them to poor screening of data files and administrative oversight errors.

We made three recommendations to improve the accuracy and reliability of DOT’s improper payment reporting. DOT officials concurred with our findings and recommendations.




Closed on 08.21.2018
No. 1 to OST

That DOT's Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs/ Chief Financial Officer provide specific documentation requirements and greater oversight of contractors who perform improper payment testing to ensure that the work performed tests actual payments and verifies that each transaction has an audit trail and proper support.

Closed on 12.19.2014
No. 2 to OST

Implement procedures that ensure that all the elements required for IPERA reporting are accurate and supported by documentation.

Closed on 12.19.2014
No. 3 to OST

Reinforce DOT policy that the recovery of duplicate payments must be recorded in DOT's accounting system.