NASA’s Office of Inspector General reports that NASA has met all the appropriate Office of Management and Budget (OMB) criteria for the ACT of fiscal year 2015. However, there is still belief that the agency can improve it’s risk assessment process to help detect improper payments.

In fiscal year (FY) 2015, the Federal Government made an estimated $137 billion in improper payments to individuals, organizations, and contractors, an increase of approximately $12 billion from FY 2014. An improper payment is any payment that should not have been made or was made in an incorrect amount.

To help reduce improper payments, the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 requires heads of Federal agencies to annually identify programs and activities susceptible to improper payments and report information about those payments. In addition, agency Inspectors General are required annually to evaluate whether their agencies comply with the Act’s requirements.

First, NASA should assign greater weight to the risk condition “External Monitoring and Assessments,” the only condition that considers independent and objective assessments of program performance by our office and the Government Accountability Office.

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