In 2019, Congress enacted the Payment Integrity Information Act (PIIA) to update required reporting on agencies’ improper payments. PIIA requires agencies to review and identify programs and activities that may be susceptible to significant improper payments, estimate the improper payments rates in agency programs, and report on their actions to reduce and recover those payments. The Inspector General of each agency assesses compliance with these requirements annually. AmeriCorps implemented corrective actions in FY 2021 that improved its compliance with PIIA reporting requirements. The agency now meets eight of the 10 PIIA compliance requirements. Of the two remaining requirements, the agency reported improper payment rates above the ten percent compliance threshold for the AmeriCorps State and National Program , Foster Grandparent Program , Senior Companion Program , and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and reported improper payment rates that were not accurate, reliable, or consistent with Office of Management and Budget guidance. AmeriCorps attributes the improper payment rates to the operational challenges that grantees continued to face related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, including how to administer, and document that they appropriately administered, the temporary pay allowances that AmeriCorps allowed during the period reviewed. Additionally, AmeriCorps management does not have adequate controls over the supervision and oversight of sample selection and statistical projection procedures regarding its improper payment testing. AmeriCorps generally concurred with and agreed to implement our recommendations to (1) add additional provisions to its grant terms and conditions, (2) strengthen supervision and oversight of sample selections and statistical projection procedures to ensure that it appropriately projects estimated improper payment rates, and (3) develop and implement actions to reduce the improper payment rates below ten percent for FY 2022. AmeriCorps Management’s Response can be found in Appendix C of the report.
Monday, May 16, 2022
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