Advanced Analytics Is Changing How Agencies Fight Fraud

Advanced Analytics Is Changing How Agencies Fight Fraud

What Is the Treasury’s ‘Do Not Pay’ Service?

At the Treasury Department, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service offers a Do Not Pay (DNP) service, a web-based tool that enables agencies to check multiple data sources to ensure that people, businesses and organizations are eligible for federal payments, including loans, grants and other benefits.

The bureau makes payments on behalf of about 90 percent of federal agencies. In fact, during the 2022 fiscal year, the bureau made 1.4 billion payments valued at $5.3 trillion, says Kevin McDaniels, senior advisor for payment integrity.

The bureau’s Office of Payment Integrity, which operates the DNP service, allows agencies to search a single person or entity or search in batches. It also has a team of 20 data scientists who provide agencies with advanced data analytics services to prevent fraud, says Marshall Henry, director of the DNP Business Center.

“We want to engage agencies early, before a payment is issued, by leveraging the data sources we have so that funds never leave the government that should not be leaving,” he says.

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The DNP application and data are hosted in a private cloud within a Federal Reserve Bank data center, Henry says. Today, the bureau pulls the data from other agencies and unifies it in a central repository in the private cloud.

Increasingly, however, the organization is using application programming interfaces to remotely access data, such as death certificates, tax transcripts and databases that show whether people are incarcerated, owe federal debt or are delinquent on child support.

The bureau’s data scientists use cloud-native analytics tools and, in some cases, machine learning algorithms to help agencies identify potential fraud, develop predictive models and spot trends. Analytics prevents citizens from illegal double-dipping, McDaniels says.

“If a person receives a disability payment from one agency and that person applies for disability payments from another agency, the duplication may not be appropriate,” he says.

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