The Department of Homeland Security did not comply with the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019 (PIIA) in fiscal year 2021, the Office of Inspector General found.
Two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs did not meet PIIA’s requirement that a program’s combined rate of improper and unknown payments must be less than 10 percent. Improper payments are payments made to the wrong parties or for the wrong amounts; unknown payments are made without sufficient supporting documentation.
OIG conducted the audit to determine whether DHS complied with PIIA and Executive Order 13520, Reducing Improper Payments (November 20, 2009), in fiscal year 2021. OIG also evaluated the accuracy and completeness of DHS’ payment integrity reporting.
OIG found that DHS’ categorizations of payments as proper, improper, or unknown appear correct. Four FEMA payments sampled had a substantial amount of documentation, but the documentation did not show how FEMA determined the payments were proper. As a result, OIG could not reconcile the support for the full payment amounts, but deemed the differences immaterial.
OIG also found that DHS’ efforts to prevent and reduce improper and unknown payments appear to be adequate.
DHS no longer meets the criteria for Executive Order 13520; as a result, OIG did not conduct any testing in this area.
OIG made two recommendations that, when implemented, should improve DHS’ compliance with PIIA. DHS concurred with both recommendations and provided corrective action plans.