The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 1827, which would
reduce overpayments in government programs by requiring Federal agencies
to conduct recovery audits of their internal payment records. The
Administration supports this concept and endorsed the bill last year. If
fully implemented, the bill would save at least $100 million in
collection of erroneous payments.
However, the Administration has the following concerns with the
amendment in the nature of a substitute that would be made in order by
the proposed rule. The Administration opposes amendments that would
automatically exempt payments related to specific programs from being
subject to recovery audits. The bill would provide the Office of
Management and Budget sufficient authority to exempt an executive
agency, in whole or in part, from the requirement to conduct recovery
audits if the Director determines that compliance with this requirement
would either impede the agency's mission or not be cost-effective. This
authority would be sufficient to protect the Government's interest
without carving out specific statutory exemptions that could
automatically eliminate broad categories of overpayments from the
scrutiny of recovery audits.
The Administration also opposes amendments that would: (1) prohibit
the use of contingency payments to a recovery audit contractor; such a
provision would undermine the act by prohibiting the conventional method
of payment for this type of debt collection activity; and (2) expand the
scope of coverage of recovery audits beyond audits of agencies' internal
In addition, the Administration recommends modifying the bill's
requirements to maintain the current framework for determining the
circumstances under which public-private cost comparisons are required.
Finally, the Administration recommends clarifying the bill to ensure
that its enactment will not limit or otherwise affect the authority of
the General Services Administration to conduct transportation
The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress on
these and other issues related to this legislation.