3 minute read     |    Cybersecurity; Fraud, Waste & Abuse

Federal CIO Council is focused on Tackling the Billion Dollar Fraud Issue

At OnPoint Consulting, we believe a bold fraud prevention strategy is essential for ensuring that the government is serving the public effectively, and efficiently fulfilling their mission objectives. Moving the conversation on fraud forward was the focus of the Federal CIO Council Innovation Committee’s inaugural Fraud Detection & Prevention Symposium that took place on February 22nd, 2023. 

Speakers and attendees came from across the public and private sectors to build a collective understanding of the challenges, best practices, processes, and technologies available for preventing and detecting fraud. 

Speakers offered insight on the issue and outlined its scale including that the government realized $4.48 billion in confirmed fraud in FY22 alone, and over $246 million in improper payments during the same period. Numbers like that point to the importance of this problem as there is a human cost to all this fraud.

To provide an analysis of the discussions and key topics covered, OnPoint’s Greg DeLoache sat down with Pete Tseronis of Dots and Bridges who moderated a panel on Combating Fraud, Mitigating Risk at the Symposium.

Addressing the Problem Requires Identifying the Problem

Greg began the conversation by reinforcing how prevalent fraud is across the country, referencing comments from Federal CIO Clare Martorana on how fraud is not limited to the financial sector and is ubiquitous. Martorana concludes that government collaboration is a key factor in addressing the problem, as this is an “all of government effort.”.

Greg and Pete focused on the following issues and challenges highlighted by speakers including:

  • Implications of the difference in maturation levels between agencies as it pertains to fraud detection and prevention. 
  • The need to transform governments’ approach to fraud from a reactive to a proactive posture, especially when addressing fraud related to emerging technologies such as blockchain. 
  • Issues directly related to COVID-19 relief efforts, as the government handled $5 trillion in payments during an incredibly tumultuous time. 

While technology on its own is valuable, Harrison Smith of the IRS discussed the need for agencies to find the right solutions to their specific problems. The first step in that process is problem identification. As once you have identified the specific problem you are trying to address, you can move the conversation on to finding the right solution for that problem.

Working Together to Solve Identified Problems

Greg emphasized how critically important the element of collaboration is to this process. The environment of an open and transparent government allows clear communication between all parties. He highlighted Ann Dunkin’s comments as recognizing the critical need for sharing best practices to find proven ways of solving fraud. 

To accelerate change, there also needs to be an understanding that the tools and technology to solve these problems already exist. However, they must be adapted to specific missions to ensure it is the best possible solution. 

Speakers concluded by emphasizing a key step to combating fraud is by holding blameless postmortems. These afford organizations the opportunity to really learn how to improve and flourish in their fraud prevention efforts. Additionally, organizations and groups should be given the opportunity to fail in a safe manner as you can’t truly learn if you don’t understand what went wrong. 

Greg succinctly concluded their conversation with the recognition that:

“The most important thing is to make sure we are advancing towards a proactive transformation and modernization model with collaboration at scale. This must be an all-hands-on-deck approach to make sure our data, and by extension American citizens are staying safe.”

OnPoint is committed to continuing our work to educate and protect our country from all forms of cybercrime. To hear the full conversation and more insights from OnPoint’s expert team, please check out the recording on our LinkedIn Page.

Listen to the discussion


Greg DeLoache
Business Development Manager

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