Federal Manager's Daily Report

A report cites the Labor Department’s unemployment insurance program’s focus on cooperation with state agencies and on data collection as a model for other agencies to reduce improper payments, an issue that has been the focus of numerous laws and directives in recent years.

The Partnership for Public Service cited the creation of an “integrity center of excellence” to “to share best practices, provide training and offer grants for innovative solutions.” That has focused on two of the root causes of improper payments in that program, inaccurate data about why an individual is not working and continuation of benefits after an individual returns to work, says a report written with the Deloitte consulting firm.

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One key strategy was training for state employees involved in the program, in person and online, on topics including fraud investigation, data analytics, tax auditing and program operations. Labor also created a database that allows states to “flag potential fraudulent cases and provides an opportunity for the center to look at fraud cases from a multistate perspective.”

It added that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services similarly provide state agencies with assistance and technical support to enhance their own capacity to address improper payments.

Further, it cited the SSA’s enhanced monitoring of its supplemental security income program for those with limited assets. Those steps included better tracking of factors that can affect eligibility such as wages earned, ownership of real estate, and departure from the country.