Date: July 31, 2015
Senate Passes S. 614,
the Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act of 2015
On July 28, 2015, S. 614, the Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act of 2015, passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Among other things, the bill would provide that Federal agencies shall review, as appropriate, SSA’s death records through the Do Not Pay (DNP) Initiative1 established by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 (IPERIA). The bill now moves to the House for its consideration.
S. 614, as amended, includes the following provisions of interest to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Availability of the DNP Initiative to the Judicial and Legislative Branches and the State
- Would permit access to, and use of, the Do Not Pay system to the States, any contractor, subcontractor or agent of a State, and the judicial and legislative branches of the United States.
- Would require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue guidance establishing privacy and other requirements to be incorporated into DNP access agreement with the States and the judicial and legislative branches of the United States.
Distribution of Death Data Furnished To or Maintained By the Commissioner2
- Would amend IPERIA to provide that Federal agencies shall review, as appropriate, (as one of several databases) the “death records maintained by the Commissioner” to verify eligibility of a Federal payment or award.3 (Prior to this amendment, IPERIA had included in the list of databases only the “Death Master File,” i.e., the public file without State information.)
Improving the Sharing and Use of Data by Government Agencies to Curb Improper Payments
- Would provide that, not later than 1 year after enactment, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense would establish a procedure for promptly and regularly reporting deaths to each agency for which the Director of OMB determines receiving and using such information would be relevant and timely.
- Would require that, not later than 1 year after enactment, OMB, in consultation with the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, and heads of other relevant Federal, State and local agencies (including Indian tribes and tribal organizations), would issue guidance regarding the implementation of the DNP initiative.
- Such guidance would be issued to the Department of Treasury and each agency (or component of an agency) that operates or maintains a database of information described in section 5(a)(2) of IPERIA. Section 5(a)(2), as amended by this bill (and as mentioned above), would include the “death records maintained by the Commissioner.”
- Would require that the Secretary of the Treasury provide a report to Congress, no later than 180 days after enactment, which shall include a description of data analytics performed as part of the Do Not Pay system in order to prevent and recover improper and duplicate payments.
- Unless stated otherwise, would require all provisions to be effective upon enactment.
1 Under current law, we already share non-State death information with the Do Not Pay portal, and our full file of death information with Federal-benefit-paying agencies. We also share death information for research and statistical purposes.
2 S. 1073, reported out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on July 29, 2015, would amend section 205(r) of the Social Security Act to permit the use of our full file of death information by the agency operating the DNP system.