Biden: Obama stopped $4B in wrong payments

July 14, 2011 at 6:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 14 (UPI) -- The Obama administration stopped nearly $4 billion from being paid in error, including checks to dead people, Vice President Joe Biden said in a commentary.

The administration's desire to end waste and inefficiency in government led to about $10 billion in savings last year by ending unnecessary spending as part of an accelerating program to slash federal waste, Biden said.

"We have cracked down on improper payments, like when the government sends a check to the wrong person, in the wrong amount, or for the wrong reason," Biden wrote in an op-ed article published in McClatchy Co.'s 30 daily newspapers in 15 states. "This includes millions of dollars sent to prisoners, and even dead people.

"Just last year, we avoided nearly $4 billion in improper payments and recaptured three times the amount of improper payments than the previous year," he wrote.

The administration also cut "no-bid" contract spending by $5 billion last year, Biden wrote as he and President Barack Obama remained deadlocked in contentious negotiations with Republicans in a hunt for federal spending reductions.

Obama named Biden last month to lead a government-wide "Campaign to Cut Waste," which Biden said in his article Thursday would make sure "tax dollars are not wasted on government programs that are ineffective, duplicative or just plain unnecessary."

Citing the White House-congressional talks, Biden said: "As the president and I continue to work with Congress to address the federal deficit, we will need to make many tough decisions. We will need to cut programs and consolidate efforts across government."

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