- Press Release
- Oct 1, 2022
NASA OIG: NASA’s Compliance with the Improper Payments Information Act for Fiscal Year 2012
We determined in our review of the FY 2012 AFR and supporting documentation that NASA complied with IPIA. However, we also identified opportunities for improvement in NASA’s methodology for its IPIA and recapture audit programs, as well as its annual reporting. With regard to our prior recommendations, NASA is in the process of implementing corrective action to address four and has taken action we consider responsive to the other five.
Although NASA now includes payments it makes to grantees and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in its IPIA review, the Agency continues to exclude payments made by JPL to vendors and sub-recipients. Further, NASA may have inaccurately assessed and assigned risk to certain programs due to incomplete data, a heavy reliance on materiality, and subjective assignment of risk by the IPIA contractor. In addition, while NASA conducted recapture audits, NASA excluded from coverage cost-type contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements, and accordingly the audits were limited to 35 percent of the
Agency’s total disbursements. As a result, the Agency may be missing an opportunity to identify and recover a larger population of improper payments. Finally, we also identified errors and omissions in NASA’s AFR that lead us to question whether NASA’s reporting efforts are accurate and complete.
Although improper payments identified through NASA’s IPIA testing and recapture audit efforts have been historically low, the actual amount of improper payments the Agency makes may be higher than reported given the issues we identified. However, because NASA does not fund benefit entitlement or state-administered programs, we believe it is not likely this figure would qualify as “significant” under OMB guidelines. Further, the results of NASA’s FY 2012 financial statement audit did not disclose any material weaknesses in the Agency’s internal controls related to procurement or disbursement functions.