Large-scale software and database tools can help private firms and federal agencies verify identities and avoid fraud, even in this online age of fake personas and criminals who front companies online.

Although known as a consumer credit reporting agency, Equifax uses such tools to verify identities as a key part of the credit checking process. Rich Huffman, senior director of product management at Equifax explained the process at this week’s Government Information and Analytics Summit in Washington, D.C. Keep reading →

Interest in preventing waste, fraud, and abuse runs high in the federal government these days. Yet fraudulent contractors and healthcare providers continue to get paid so financial functions within agencies are always looking for a better mousetrap. For instance, The Association of Government Accountants released a study this May of best practices for scanning large data sets using the latest data analytics technologies for identifying potential improper payments.

Health and Human Services and the Defense Department account for most of the federal government’s annual improper payment tab. The 2011 figure was down a little, to $115 billion, thanks to some concerted agency work and prodding by the Office of Management and Budget. Keep reading →

In this column, which originally appeared at, Earl E. Devaney provides his outlook for the future in the weeks prior to his retirement Dec. 31. The final installment in a series of columns he wrote on the lessons he has learned from his work on the Recovery Board was published in November. The column originally appeared at

In a few days, my 41-year career in government ends. Through this column, the Recovery Board has given me a platform from which to address the need for more transparency and accountability in government, an issue of great importance to all Americans. In this farewell column, I am providing a status report on our work and what might lie ahead. Keep reading →

The Department of Justice has recovered more than $5.6 billion from individuals or entities attempting to defraud the U.S. government in fiscal 2011, including more than $2.9 billion from health care fraud alone, officials announced today.

The recovered funds include both civil and criminal fraud and are attributed to President Obama’s Campaign to Cut Waste and driven in part by unprecedented cooperation between DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services to detect and halt fraud earlier. Keep reading →

When the Administration took office, it was clear to us that for too long there was not adequate oversight of contractors, leading to wasted taxpayer dollars, repeated delivery delays, and unacceptable contractor performance. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in wartime contracting during the last decade. That’s why this Administration has focused on cutting waste in contracting, boosting oversight, and strengthening accountability of contractors. And more broadly, earlier this summer the White House launched the Campaign to Cut Waste, a government-wide drive to crack down on fraud, waste, and abuse.

On August 31, the Commission on Wartime Contracting released a report on these challenges. We welcome the report and commend the Commission for shining a spotlight on waste in contracting, on the need to strengthen the contracting function at agencies, on the value of increasing competition in contracting, and on the importance of holding contractors accountable for their performance. Keep reading →