Federal $100 Billion: Federal Agencies Wasting Billions Every Year

January 16, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Federal agencies are wasting more than $100 billion every year.

The waste comes from major federal programs that pay out more than is needed.

Between 2002 and 2012, the waste added up to $688 billion. The annual rate is now over $100 billion, reported The Fiscal Times.

In 2012 alone, the Office of Management and Budget found that 13 programs made a combined $101.3 billion in improper payment.

To put that in context, that’s almost $16 billion more than the budget sequester ended up cutting from government spending in 2013, notes Yahoo. The government fails to get much of the wasted money back. Over 2011 and 2012, for example, the government recaptured only $2 billion.

The biggest offender in fiscal year 2013 was the Department of Health of Human Services, which spent $55.9 billion improperly.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is within that department. 10 percent of the payments made under Medicare’s Fee for Service Program last year were later determined to come from errors or fraud. That equaled an improper payout of $33.2 billion. The program is managed by the center.

The center’s spokesman Tony Salters said in a statement that “Deterring improper payments is a top priority of CMS in order to protect beneficiaries and taxpayers. CMS will work with our contractors to develop an appropriate cumulative payment threshold that considers costs, as well as potential benefits in determining which claims and providers should be selected for further scrutiny.”

Agency contractors try to get money back when improper payments are identified, he said. However, the agency is only able to identify a fraction of the wrong payments made.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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