Feds Using High-tech Tools to Prevent Recovery Act Fraud

Some leaders are now hoping to apply the techniques used by the stimulus bill's auditors to others areas of government.
by | February 22, 2011
 

Analysts with the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board are using revolutionary new systems to combat fraud that some government leaders hope to apply to other programs, USA TODAY reports.

The board, operating out of a war-room-style facility called the Recovery Operations Center near the White House, is charged with early detection of fraud within the $814 billion stimulus, which recently entered its second anniversary.

Auditors use tools such as government databases, public records and Facebook pages to track links between scam-artists, and they use predictive modeling to determine where in the country they should focus their resources. The high-tech approach is intended to prevent fraud before it happens, so the government doesn't lose out on money, the newspaper reports.

Leaders have several victories by the board. It caught a company that had been awarded $7 million in contracts despite being prohibited from receiving federal awards. The agency was able to cancel the contracts. In another case, the board found a stimulus award given to a company that declared bankruptcy just days later. It was able to stop a $50,000 payment in time.

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