Government waste, fraud, and abuse cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year and that’s just on the US Federal level!
But do you know what these terms mean when it comes to spending of Federal funds?
Here are some examples…
What is Fraud?
Fraud is any deliberate deception that exists to unlawfully deny the Federal Government something of value or gives a person or organization something of value to which they are not entitled.
Examples of Fraud:
- Other forms of prosecutable fraud
Fraud is an intentional act to benefit unjustly.
What is Waste?
Next, waste is defined as the careless, excessive, or unnecessary spending of Federal funds or misuse of property, such as equipment, supplies, and real estate.
Examples of Waste:
Here are some examples of the waste of federal funds:
- Spending that is not supported by adequate documentation
- Purchasing unneeded equipment
- Buying supplies to “spend the budget”
- Inadequate monitoring of credit card use
Waste does not need to be intentional and can be unintentional or inadvertent.
(See more examples with the article on excessive spending on GSA conferences)
What is Abuse?
Finally, abuse refers to the deliberate improper use of government resources.
Examples of Abuse:
Here are some examples of abuse of federal funding:
- Abuse of job position, rank or signing authority
- Misusing vehicles, computers, tools, and office equipment for personal benefit
How to you avoid government waste, fraud, and abuse of funding?
Now you know what the terms: waste, fraud, and abuse mean, how do you protect your grant?
The most important keys are having strong internal controls and following established procedures and policies.
Here are 5 Tips to Keep Your Federal Grant Safe:
- Stay up on grant training and current regulations regarding grant management
- Have strong and open lines of communication within your organization
- Require that staff, vendors, and sub-grantees are accountable for their behavior
- Monitor work to make sure it is conducted as described in the award terms and conditions
- Safeguard vehicles, equipment and other resources purchased with Federal funds
If you see something, say something.
If waste, fraud or abuse are witnessed or suspected, please contact the federal agency’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) or the OIG Hotline immediately.
Ready to Improve Your Grant Management?
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Would you like to be a better grant manager?
We have another grant management training seminar coming soon.
Click here to get all the details!
Hope to see you there!
Lucy Morgan CPA, MBA
CEO, Compliance Warrior
Author of “Decoding Grant Management-The Ultimate Success Guide to the Federal Grant Regulations in 2 CFR Part 200” The 2nd Edition is now available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle versions.