OMB Director Mick Mulvaney issued the memos.

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney issued the memos. Susan Walsh/AP

OMB Sharpens Guidance for Improving Programs and Curbing Improper Payments

Mulvaney seeks to reduce reporting burdens as agencies appoint new management officers.

In a pair of memos to agency heads this week, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney laid out how his office will monitor progress toward formalizing the improvement of program management and getting a better handle on long-standing efforts to avoid government payments to undeserving parties.

The first memo, dated June 25, follows through on the 2016 Program Management Improvement Accountability Act, which requires appointment of program management improvement officers and created a new interagency council to enhance program and project management techniques.

The memo sets July 27, 2018, as the deadline for appointment of a senior executive as program management improvement officer, if this hasn’t happened already. Each agency’s overall implementation plan for the program management agenda is then due by Nov. 30, in time for a governmentwide OMB report planned for the winter.

Mulvaney wrote of three implementing strategies, focused on requirements under the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act as well as a review of items on the high-risk list produced by the Government Accountability Office.

The first addressed coordinated governance, with leadership from chief operating officers and collaboration within each agency. The second involved regular OMB and agency engagement and portfolio reviews to identify barriers to good outcomes. And the third addressed strengthening the programs’ management capacity while building “a capable” program management workforce through training, career paths and mentorships.

The second OMB memo, dated June 26, revised a 2014 OMB Circular 123 appendix to “create a more unified, comprehensive, and less burdensome set of requirements.”

All programs reporting an improper payment estimate “should identify the reasons their programs and activities are at risk of improper payments,” it stated. “Corrective actions developed and implemented by agencies should be responsive to the root causes of the improper payments….Distinguishing between what constitutes a root cause that created an error versus an internal control problem that did not catch an error is critical when creating corrective actions to address improper payments,” it said, calling for measurements of annual progress of each individual corrective action.

In addition, the improper payments memo laid out criteria OMB will use in reviewing agency requests for relief from reporting deadlines. OMB will gauge the “burden—does measuring and reporting improper payments lead to a heavy burden (e.g., in terms of funding, program staff hours, etc.)?”—as well as any relevant legislative requirements and audit findings by inspectors general that “point to reasons why the program might need to continue measuring and reporting improper payments.”

Linda Miller, director of the Fraud Risk Mitigation Practice at Grant Thornton LLP, praised the improper payments guidance for its clarity in its effort to reduce the reporting burden. “It’s clear that they are trying to push agencies to do more rigorous qualitative assessments and relieving them of the burden of doing more costly quantitative assessments if they have a robust qualitative process,” she told Government Executive

In addition, “OMB is using the term ‘payment integrity,’ which I think is a very helpful way to think about improper payments as it encompasses the whole system an agency has in place to safeguard the integrity of the payments it makes. As agencies start to see payment integrity as a set of activities, which includes prepayment analytics,” Miller added, “they will start to move the needle in actually reducing the payments they make improperly, rather than focusing on estimation and reporting for improper payment compliance purposes.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.