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If fraud was an agency, it would be federal government's sixth largest


Geee

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The Center Square

U.S. taxpayers lose up to $521 billion a year to fraud across the federal government, according to a first-of-its-kind estimate. 

The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated annual fraud costs taxpayers between $233 billion and $521 billion annually, according to a new report published Tuesday. The fraud estimate's range represents 3% to 7% of average federal obligations. The estimate was based on data from fiscal years 2018 through 2022. The government obligated almost $40 trillion from fiscal years 2018 through 2022, but had no reliable estimates of fraud losses.

 

David Walker, former comptroller general of the United States and a member of the advisory board of Main Street Economics, said the estimate is only part of a larger spending issue.

 

"The federal government's estimated annual financial losses to fraud of between $233 billion and $521 billion is just the tip of the iceberg," Walker told The Center Square. "When you add waste, abuse, and mismanagement, the numbers are much bigger."

GAO Director of Forensic Audits and Investigative Service Rebecca Shea put the fraud estimate in context. She said that most federal spending isn't fraudulent and that the amount of fraud varies greatly by agency. However, those dollars add up.

"Collectively, the taxpayer is losing a significant amount to fraud every year annually," she said. "And for a little bit of perspective on this relative to agency funding – the top of our range is greater than the budget for all but the top five agencies. And the bottom of our range, it's larger than the ninth largest federal agency. So, the context for that, what we're seeing with this estimate, is that fraud may be the sixth largest agency that we are funding annually, and that's a lot of money that could be going to better use.":snip:

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SDwaters
1 hour ago, Geee said:

"When you add waste, abuse, and mismanagement, the numbers are much bigger."

Waste generated by "oversight" is a biggie!

For example:  Some years back "Senior Leaders" got caught staying in grossly overpriced VIP suites while on travel.   Thereafter, travelers weren't permitted to make their own ravel arrangements.  Instead, a lot of new jobs were created to act as an internal travel agency and make all reservations; even though there were established maximum rates for everything and supervisors had to pre-approve all travel.

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MISBAILEY
13 minutes ago, SDwaters said:

Waste generated by "oversight" is a biggie!

For example:  Some years back "Senior Leaders" got caught staying in grossly overpriced VIP suites while on travel.   Thereafter, travelers weren't permitted to make their own ravel arrangements.  Instead, a lot of new jobs were created to act as an internal travel agency and make all reservations; even though there were established maximum rates for everything and supervisors had to pre-approve all travel.

Yes, but look at all the money we're saving by spending 🤪 

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