Report Summary

Title: VA’s Compliance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act for FY 2019
Report Number: 19-09563-142 Download
Issue Date: 5/14/2020
VA Office: Office of the Secretary
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Review
Release Type: Unrestricted

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted this annual statutorily required review to determine whether VA complied with the requirements of the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA) for fiscal year (FY) 2019.

In FY 2019, VA reported improper payment estimates totaling $11.99 billion for 14 programs and activities, $2.74 billion less than the total reported in FY 2018 for 12 programs and activities. Improper payments are any payments that should not have been made or were made in an incorrect amount.

The OIG found VA did not comply with IPERA because it did not satisfy two of the six requirements. VA did not meet annual reduction targets for a program considered at risk for improper payments and did not report a gross improper payment rate of less than 10 percent for six programs and activities as required.

VA satisfied the other four IPERA requirements. However, the OIG determined the Veterans Health Administration understated the estimate for a program because it did not sufficiently document that services were received. Also, one corrective action related to a prior OIG recommendation failed to address the root cause of the improper payments.

The OIG also identified that four programs and activities have been noncompliant for five consecutive fiscal years, and two activities were noncompliant for three years. VA is required to submit plans to Congress to bring them into compliance.

VA satisfied the additional reporting requirements for two high-priority programs and one other program with a monetary loss of more than $100 million for FY 2018.

The OIG recommended the VHA executive in charge implement appropriate IPERA testing procedures to ensure verification is completed for services received for the Purchased Long-Term Services and Supports program. One prior OIG recommendation remains open due to repeat findings of ongoing issues.