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The Federal Government Gets Serious About Collecting Overpayments

Regular readers will recall past blog posts about government overpayments. 

This week more attention was focused on this topic with the introduction of the 2011 Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act (S.1409).   

As incredible as it may seem to the uninitiated, government overpayments are commonplace in the healthcare and defense procurement worlds, among others.  As healthcare and defense together make up the majority of government expenses, government overpayments are commonplace in most federal spending.

In 2010 alone, improper payments or overpayments were estimated to be $125 billion dollars, according to a quote from the Office of Management and Budget.  The quote can be found in an excellent article published this week on

Of course, the 2009 amendments to the federal False Claims Act (as well as the 2011 amendments to the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act) contain special provisions aimed specifically at this phenomenon.  Simply put, the days of “finders keepers, losers weepers”  are over.