Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is a sponsor of the bill.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is a sponsor of the bill. J. Scott Applewhite/AP file photo

Bill to Curb Fraud Through Data Analytics Clears House Panel

Meadows plan would create multi-agency working group chaired by U.S. controller.

A bipartisan bill to beef up agency efforts to combat fraud won approval from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday, a victory for the movement to build more data analytics into federal program management.

The Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act, sponsored by Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C. and Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., would establish governmentwide guidelines for agencies to monitor, detect and combat fraud “in real-time, rather than relying on end-of-year audits,” Meadows said in a statement “The bill also calls for the creation of a working group tasked with building multi-agency data channels to fight fraud with the power of big data.”

A companion bill sponsored by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in October.

“Detecting, preventing and eliminating fraud within our federal agencies is an important bipartisan issue that will save taxpayer dollars. Federal agencies must be pro-active, not reactive in their anti-fraud efforts,” Meadows said.

“The fight against fraud and improper payments is a long-standing challenge transcending presidential administrations and affecting all federal agencies,” subcommittee ranking member Connolly added. “Our committee has investigated this issue in-depth, and when it comes to rooting out fraud, we would be wise to heed Benjamin Franklin’s famous axiom that, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ ”