GAO: Fraud-prevention methods for federal workers’ comp ‘promising’

February 1, 2012

Washington – Fraud-prevention methods in the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act program are “promising,” but more work needs to be done to eliminate vulnerabilities, according to the Government Accountability Office.

At the request of Congress, GAO on Jan. 25 issued preliminary observations (.pdf file) of the FECA program at six federal agencies as part of the office’s ongoing investigation into the government-wide effectiveness of fraud-prevention controls.

Conducted June 2011 through January 2012, the preliminary audit determined that current fraud-prevention practices have resulted in successful investigations and prosecutions of FECA-related fraud. However, GAO also concluded that limited access to data could hinder agencies’ ability to monitor claims, increasing the chance for successful fraud.

A full report on the government’s fraud-prevention controls will be released at an unspecified date, GAO said.

During fiscal year 2010, the FECA program provided medical and wage compensation to about 251,000 federal employees who were injured on the job, as well as their survivors.