DHS recovery audits reveal room for improvement in recouping improper payments

According to a report released by the Inspector General's Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the department is complying with federal improper payments legislation, but there is still more that can be done.

Specifically, the Inspector General found that DHS recovery audits uncovered $210 million in improper payments from 14 programs across six components. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the highest percentage of improper payments (8.12 percent), while Customs and Border Protection (0.21 percent), the Coast Guard (0.13 percent) and the Transportation Security Administration (0.01 percent) fared better.

However, according to the report, only the Coast Guard prioritized its audits to target categories with higher potential for overpayments. This finding prompted officials, including Missouri Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, to call for improvements.

"If the department can recoup disaster assistance overpayments from individuals in the Gulf region, then it certainly can find a way to recover funds improperly paid," said Thompson, a ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, in a statement quoted by Federal News Radio. "Duplicate payments are the kind of waste that we can control, address and remedy."

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