The Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019 (PIIA) requires agencies to identify, report, and reduce improper payments in programs susceptible to significant improper payments. The act also requires agencies to publish applicable payment integrity information in the materials accompanying their annual financial statements. Moreover, PIIA requires inspectors general to report annually on their agencies’ compliance. Accordingly, our audit objective was to determine whether DOT complied in fiscal year 2022 with PIIA’s requirements as prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
What We Found
DOT was in compliance with PIIA requirements for fiscal year 2022. DOT reported improper payment estimates for two programs identified as susceptible to significant improper payments. Generally, the payment integrity information in DOT’s 2022 Agency Financial Report and data posted to the Payment Accuracy website were accurate and complete. We found a data entry error at the website. DOT reported $104,907 under the cause category of Data/Information Does Not Exist instead of the correct cause category of Failure to Access Data/Information Needed. This error did not impact DOT’s PIIA compliance. DOT’s corrective action plan was adequately designed, focused on root causes, and effectively implemented. DOT also published improper and unknown payment amounts and estimated future improper and unknown payment rates on the Payment Accuracy website in the financial statement materials. The Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Planning and Construction Program did not meet its reduction target of 1 percent and reported estimated improper payments of 1.13 percent ($548.95 million). However, FHWA demonstrated improvement by reducing its overall improper and unknown payments. DOT developed a plan to meet the reduction target and reported an improper and unknown payment estimate of less than 10 percent for all programs reporting improper payments in fiscal year 2022. The Department has also taken steps to recapture improper and unknown payments.