[USC02] 31 USC 3321: Disbursing authority in the executive branch
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31 USC 3321: Disbursing authority in the executive branch Text contains those laws in effect on October 29, 2020
From Title 31-MONEY AND FINANCESUBTITLE III-FINANCIAL MANAGEMENTCHAPTER 33-DEPOSITING, KEEPING, AND PAYING MONEYSUBCHAPTER II-PAYMENTS

§3321. Disbursing authority in the executive branch

(a) Except as provided in this section or another law, only officers and employees of the Department of the Treasury designated by the Secretary of the Treasury as disbursing officials may disburse public money available for expenditure by an executive agency.

(b) For economy and efficiency, the Secretary may delegate the authority to disburse public money to officers and employees of other executive agencies.

(c) The head of each of the following executive agencies shall designate personnel of the agency as disbursing officials to disburse public money available for expenditure by the agency:

(1) United States Marshal's Office.

(2) The Department of Defense.

(3) The Department of Homeland Security.1 (with respect to public money available for expenditure by the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy).


(d) On request of the Secretary and with the approval of the head of an executive agency referred to in subsection (c) of this section, facilities of the agency may be used to assist in disbursing public money available for expenditure by another executive agency.

( Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 949 ; Pub. L. 103–355, title III, §3067, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3337 ; Pub. L. 104–106, div. A, title IX, §913(a)(1), Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 410 ; Pub. L. 104–201, div. A, title X, §1009(a)(1), Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2633 ; Pub. L. 109–241, title IX, §902(b)(1), July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 566 .)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised SectionSource (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
3321(a), (b) 5:901(note). Exec. Order No. 6166, June 10, 1933, §4.
3321(c), (d) 31:492–1. R.S. §176; Sept. 6, 1966, Pub. L. 89–554, §8(a), 80 Stat. 632 ; June 6, 1972, Pub. L. 92–310, §231(a), 86 Stat. 209 .
  5 App. Reorg. Plan No. 4 of 1940, eff. June 30, 1940, §§3, 4, 54 Stat. 1234.
  Exec. Order No. 6728, May 29, 1934.

The section uses the defined term "executive agency" in section 102 of the revised title because the source provisions of this section are from a reorganization plan and executive orders that apply only to departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the executive branch of the United States Government.

In subsections (a) and (b), the words "Secretary of the Treasury" and "Secretary" are substituted for references to the Division of Disbursement and a Chief Disbursing Officer because of the source provisions restated in section 321(c) of the revised title. The words "public money" are substituted for "moneys of the United States" for consistency with the other source provisions restated in the section and for consistency in the chapter.

Subsection (a) is substituted for section 4(1st paragraph) of Executive Order No. 6166 to omit executed words.

In subsection (b), the words "may require" and "as the interests of" are omitted as unnecessary. The words "to establish local offices" are omitted because of the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury as the head of the Department of the Treasury and the authority of the Secretary under section 321 of the revised title. The text of section 4(last paragraph) is omitted as superseded by section 3325 of the revised title.

In subsection (c), the text of 31:492–1(1st sentence) is applied only to the listed agencies because of subsection (a) and Executive Order 6728. The text of 31:492–1(last sentence) is omitted as superseded by section 2 of Reorganization Plan No. 18 of 1950 (eff. July 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 1270) and by 40:490. In clause (1), the words after "disbursement by United States marshals" and before the last proviso in section 3 of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1940 (eff. June 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1234) are omitted as unnecessary because of 28:571 and sections 3512(a)–(c) and 3513(a) of the revised title. In clause (2), the word "pay" is substituted for "salaries" in Executive Order No. 6728 for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the United States Code. The words "including the Marine Corps" are omitted as being included in "military departments". The words "Panama Canal" are omitted because of the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977. The first proviso is omitted as unnecessary because of sections 3512 and 3513 of the revised title. Section 4 of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1940 is omitted because (1) the Post Office Department was abolished by the 1970 restatement of title 39, with all authority of the former Postmaster General being placed in the new United States Postal Service, (2) under 39:410 and 3604, the Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission were exempt from all provisions of law related to budget and funds, and (3) the Postal Savings System and its Board of Trustees were abolished under section 5 of the Act of March 28, 1942 (ch. 205, 56 Stat. 189).

Amendments

2006-Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 109–241 substituted "Department of Homeland Security." for "Department of Transportation".

1996-Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 104–106 added par. (2) and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows: "The Department of Defense (except for disbursements for departmental pay and expenses in the District of Columbia)."

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 104–201 added par. (3).

1994-Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 103–355 substituted "The Department of Defense" for "military departments of the Department of Defense".

Saving Federal Dollars Through Better Use of Government Purchase and Travel Cards

Pub. L. 115–91, div. A, title XVIII, Dec. 12, 2017, 131 Stat. 1814 , provided that:

"SEC. 1801. SHORT TITLE.

"This title may be cited as the 'Saving Federal Dollars Through Better Use of Government Purchase and Travel Cards Act of 2017'.

"SEC. 1802. DEFINITIONS.

"In this title:

"(1) Improper payment.-The term 'improper payment' has the meaning given the term in section 2 of the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 [Pub. L. 107–300] (31 U.S.C. 3321 note).

"(2) Questionable transaction.-The term 'questionable transaction' means a charge card transaction that from initial card data appears to be high risk and may therefore be improper due to non-compliance with applicable law, regulation or policy.

"(3) Strategic sourcing.-The term 'strategic sourcing' means analyzing and modifying a Federal agency's spending patterns to better leverage its purchasing power, reduce costs, and improve overall performance.

"SEC. 1803. EXPANDED USE OF DATA ANALYTICS.

"(a) Strategy.-Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 2017], the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Administrator for General Services, shall develop a strategy to expand the use of data analytics in managing government purchase and travel charge card programs. These analytics may employ existing General Services Administration capabilities, and may be in conjunction with agencies' capabilities, for the purpose of-

"(1) identifying examples or patterns of questionable transactions and developing enhanced tools and methods for agency use in-

"(A) identifying questionable purchase and travel card transactions; and

"(B) recovering improper payments made with purchase and travel cards;

"(2) identifying potential opportunities for agencies to further leverage administrative process streamlining and cost reduction from purchase and travel card use, including additional agency opportunities for card-based strategic sourcing;

"(3) developing a set of purchase and travel card metrics and benchmarks for high-risk activities, which shall assist agencies in identifying potential emphasis areas for their purchase and travel card management and oversight activities, including those required by the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–194) [see Short Title of 2012 Amendment note set out under section 101 of Title 41, Public Contracts]; and

"(4) developing a plan, which may be based on existing capabilities, to create a library of analytics tools and data sources for use by Federal agencies (including inspectors general of those agencies).

"SEC. 1804. GUIDANCE ON IMPROVING INFORMATION SHARING TO CURB IMPROPER PAYMENTS.

"(a) In General.-Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 2017], the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Administrator of General Services and the interagency charge card data management group established under section 1805, shall issue guidance on improving information sharing by government agencies for the purposes of section 1803(a)(1).

"(b) Elements.-The guidance issued under subsection (a) shall-

"(1) require relevant officials at Federal agencies to identify high-risk activities and communicate that information to the appropriate management levels within the agencies;

"(2) require that appropriate officials at Federal agencies review the reports issued by charge card-issuing banks on questionable transaction activity (such as purchase and travel card pre-suspension and suspension reports, delinquency reports, and exception reports), including transactions that occur with high-risk activities, and suspicious timing or amounts of cash withdrawals or advances;

"(3) provide for the appropriate sharing of information related to potential questionable transactions, fraud schemes, and high-risk activities with the General Services Administration and the appropriate officials in Federal agencies;

"(4) consider the recommendations made by Inspectors General or the best practices Inspectors General have identified; and

"(5) include other requirements determined appropriate by the Director for the purposes of carrying out this title.

"SEC. 1805. INTERAGENCY CHARGE CARD DATA MANAGEMENT GROUP.

"(a) Establishment.-The Administrator of General Services and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall establish a purchase and travel charge card data management group to develop and share best practices for the purposes described in section 1803(a).

"(b) Elements.-The best practices developed under subsection (a) shall-

"(1) cover rules, edits, and task order or contract modifications related to charge card-issuing banks;

"(2) include the review of accounts payable information and purchase and travel card transaction data of agencies for the purpose of identifying potential strategic sourcing and other additional opportunities (such as recurring payments, utility payments, and grant payments) for which the charge cards or related payment products could be used as a payment method; and

"(3) include other best practices as determined by the Administrator and Director.

"(c) Membership.-The purchase and travel charge card data management group shall meet regularly as determined by the co-chairs, for a duration of three years, and include those agencies as described in section 2 of the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–194) [enacting section 1909 of Title 41, Public Contracts and provisions set out as a note under section 1909 of Title 41 and amending section 2784 of Title 10, Armed Forces] and others identified by the Administrator and Director.

"SEC. 1806. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

"(a) General Services Administration Report.-Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 2017], the Administrator for General Services shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives a report on the implementation of this title, including the metrics used in determining whether the analytic and benchmarking efforts have reduced, or contributed to the reduction of, questionable transactions or improper payments as well as improved utilization of card-based payment products.

"(b) Agency Reports and Consolidated Report to Congress.-Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the head of each Federal agency described in section 2 of the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–194) shall submit a report to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget on that agency's activities to implement this title.

"(c) Office of Management and Budget Report to Congress.-The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives a consolidated report of agency activities to implement this title, which may be included as part of another report submitted by the Director to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives.

"(d) Report on Additional Savings Opportunities.-Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of General Services shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives a report identifying and exploring further potential savings opportunities for government agencies under the Federal charge card programs. This report may be combined with the report required under subsection (a)."

Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics

Pub. L. 114–186, June 30, 2016, 130 Stat. 546 , known as the "Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act of 2015", which established financial and administrative controls relating to fraud and improper payments, including the establishment of a working group, was repealed by Pub. L. 116–117, §3(a)(4), Mar. 2, 2020, 134 Stat. 133 .

Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement

Pub. L. 112–248, Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2390 , as amended by Pub. L. 113–67, div. A, title II, §204(c), Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 1181 ; Pub. L. 114–109, §§2–4, Dec. 18, 2015, 129 Stat. 2225–2227 , known as the "Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012", which set out to improve identification, prevention, and recovery of improper payments, including through the establishment of the Do Not Pay Initiative, was repealed by Pub. L. 116–117, §3(a)(3), Mar. 2, 2020, 134 Stat. 133 .

Determinations of Agency Readiness for Opinion on Internal Control

Pub. L. 111–204, §2(g), July 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 2228 , which provided for determinations of agency readiness for opinions on internal control, was repealed by Pub. L. 116–117, §3(a)(2), Mar. 2, 2020, 134 Stat. 133 .

Recovery Audits

Pub. L. 111–204, §2(h), July 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 2228 , as amended by Pub. L. 112–248, §3(c)(1), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2392 , which provided that certain agencies would conduct recovery audits and set out terms and procedures for the audits, was repealed by Pub. L. 116–117, §3(a)(2), Mar. 2, 2020, 134 Stat. 133 .

Compliance

Pub. L. 111–204, §3, July 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 2232 , as amended by Pub. L. 112–248, §3(c)(2), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2392 , which provided for compliance procedures and standards related to the recovery of improper payments, was repealed by Pub. L. 116–117, §3(a)(2), Mar. 2, 2020, 134 Stat. 133 .

Improper Payments

Pub. L. 107–300, Nov. 26, 2002, 116 Stat. 2350 , as amended by Pub. L. 111–204, §2(a)–(f), July 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 2224–2228 ; Pub. L. 112–248, §§3(a), (4), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2390 , 2392, known as the "Improper Payments Information Act of 2002", which established greater estimation and oversight of improper payment by Federal agencies, was repealed by Pub. L. 116–117, §3(a)(1), Mar. 2, 2020, 134 Stat. 133 . See, generally, subchapter IV of this chapter.

Ex. Ord. No. 13520. Reducing Improper Payments

Ex. Ord. No. 13520, Nov. 20, 2009, 74 F.R. 62201, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in the interest of reducing payment errors and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in Federal programs, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. When the Federal Government makes payments to individuals and businesses as program beneficiaries, grantees, or contractors, or on behalf of program beneficiaries, it must make every effort to confirm that the right recipient is receiving the right payment for the right reason at the right time. The purpose of this order is to reduce improper payments by intensifying efforts to eliminate payment error, waste, fraud, and abuse in the major programs administered by the Federal Government, while continuing to ensure that Federal programs serve and provide access to their intended beneficiaries. No single step will fully achieve these goals. Therefore, this order adopts a comprehensive set of policies, including transparency and public scrutiny of significant payment errors throughout the Federal Government; a focus on identifying and eliminating the highest improper payments; accountability for reducing improper payments among executive branch agencies and officials; and coordinated Federal, State, and local government action in identifying and eliminating improper payments. Because this order targets error, waste, fraud, and abuse-not legitimate use of Government services-efforts to reduce improper payments under this order must protect access to Federal programs by their intended beneficiaries.

Sec. 2. Transparency and Public Participation.

(a) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shall:

(i) identify Federal programs in which the highest dollar value or majority of Government-wide improper payments occur (high-priority programs);

(ii) establish, in coordination with the executive department or agency (agency) responsible for administering the high-priority program annual or semi-annual targets (or where such targets already exist, supplemental targets), as appropriate, for reducing improper payments associated with each high-priority program;

(iii) issue Government-wide guidance on the implementation of this order, including procedures for identifying and publicizing the list of entities described in subsection (b)(v) of this section and for administrative appeal of the decision to publish the identity of those entities, prior to publication; and

(iv) establish a working group consisting of Federal, State, and local officials to make recommendations to the Director of OMB designed to improve the Federal Government's measurement of access to Federal programs by the programs' intended beneficiaries. The working group's recommendations shall be prepared in consultation with the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) and submitted within 180 days of the date of this order, and the recommended measurements may be incorporated by the Secretary of the Treasury in the information published pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury in coordination with the Attorney General and the Director of OMB, shall publish on the Internet information about improper payments under high-priority programs. The information shall include, subject to Federal privacy policies and to the extent permitted by law:

(i) the names of the accountable officials designated under section 3 of this order;

(ii) current and historical rates and amounts of improper payments, including, where known and appropriate, causes of the improper payments;

(iii) current and historical rates and amounts of recovery of improper payments, where appropriate (or, where improper payments are identified solely on the basis of a sample, recovery rates and amounts estimated on the basis of the applicable sample);

(iv) targets for reducing as well as recovering improper payments, where appropriate; and

(v) the entities that have received the greatest amount of outstanding improper payments (or, where improper payments are identified solely on the basis of a sample, the entities that have received the greatest amount of outstanding improper payments in the applicable sample).

Information on entities that have received the greatest amount of outstanding improper payments shall not include any referrals the agency made or anticipates making to the Department of Justice, or any information provided in connection with such referrals.

(c) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury in coordination with the Attorney General and the Director of OMB and in consultation with the CIGIE, shall establish a central Internet-based method to collect from the public information concerning suspected incidents of waste, fraud, and abuse by an entity receiving Federal funds that have led or may lead to improper payments by the Federal Government.

(d) Agencies shall place a prominently displayed link to Internet-based resources for addressing improper payments, including the resources established under subsections (b) and (c) of this section, on their Internet home pages.

Sec. 3. Agency Accountability and Coordination.

(a) Within 120 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency responsible for operating a high-priority program shall designate an official who holds an existing Senate-confirmed position to be accountable for meeting the targets established under section 2 of this order without unduly burdening program access and participation by eligible beneficiaries. In those agencies where the majority of payments are isolated to a single component, the head of the agency shall name a second accountable official for that component whose sole responsibility would be for program integrity activities and, as appropriate, shall consolidate and coordinate all program integrity activities within the component.

(b) Within 180 days of the date of this order, each agency official designated under subsection (a) of this section, or otherwise designated by the Director of OMB, shall provide the agency's Inspector General a report containing:

(i) the agency's methodology for identifying and measuring improper payments by the agency's high-priority programs;

(ii) the agency's plans, together with supporting analysis, for meeting the reduction targets for improper payments in the agency's high-priority programs; and

(iii) the agency's plan, together with supporting analysis, for ensuring that initiatives undertaken pursuant to this order do not unduly burden program access and participation by eligible beneficiaries.

Following the receipt and review of this information, the agency Inspector General shall assess the level of risk associated with the applicable programs, determine the extent of oversight warranted, and provide the agency head with recommendations, if any, for modifying the agency's methodology, improper payment reduction plans, or program access and participation plans.

(c) If an agency fails to meet the targets established under section 2 of this order or implement the plan described in subsection (b)(iii) of this section for 2 consecutive years, that agency's accountable official designated under subsection (a) of this section shall submit to the agency head, Inspector General, and Chief Financial Officer a report describing the likely causes of the agency's failure and proposing a remedial plan. The agency head shall review this plan and, in consultation with the Inspector General and Chief Financial Officer, forward the plan with any additional comments and analysis to the Director of OMB.

(d) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Chief Financial Officers Council (CFOC) in consultation with the CIGIE, the Department of Justice, and program experts, shall make recommendations to the Director of OMB and the Secretary of the Treasury on actions (including actions related to forensic accounting and audits) agencies should take to more effectively tailor their methodologies for identifying and measuring improper payments to those programs, or components of programs, where improper payments are most likely to occur. Recommendations shall address the manner in which the recommended actions would affect program access and participation by eligible beneficiaries.

(e) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of OMB in consultation with the CIGIE, the Department of Justice, and program experts, shall recommend to the President actions designed to reduce improper payments by improving information sharing among agencies and programs, and where applicable, State and local governments and other stakeholders. The recommendations shall address the ways in which information sharing may improve eligibility verification and pre-payment scrutiny, shall identify legal or regulatory impediments to effective information sharing, and shall address the manner in which the recommended actions would affect program access and participation by eligible beneficiaries.

(f) Within 180 days of the date of this order, and at least once every quarter thereafter, the head of each agency shall submit to the agency's Inspector General and the CIGIE, and make available to the public, a report on any high-dollar improper payments identified by the agency, subject to Federal privacy policies and to the extent permitted by law. The report shall describe any actions the agency has taken or plans to take to recover improper payments, as well as any actions the agency intends to take to prevent improper payments from occurring in the future. The report shall not include any referrals the agency made or anticipates making to the Department of Justice, or any information provided in connection with such referrals. Following the review of each report, the agency Inspector General and the CIGIE shall assess the level of risk associated with the applicable program, determine the extent of oversight warranted, and provide the agency head with recommendations, if any, for modifying the agency's plans.

Sec. 4. Enhanced Focus on Contractors and Working with State and Local Stakeholders.

(a) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, in coordination with the Director of OMB, and in consultation with the National Procurement Fraud Task Force (or its successor group), the CIGIE, and appropriate agency officials, shall recommend to the President actions designed to enhance contractor accountability for improper payments. The recommendations may include, but are not limited to, subjecting contractors to debarment, suspension, financial penalties, and identification through a public Internet website, subject to Federal privacy policies and to the extent permitted by law and where the identification would not interfere with or compromise an ongoing criminal or civil investigation, for knowingly failing timely to disclose credible evidence of significant overpayments received on Government contracts.

(b) Within 30 days of the date of this order, the Director of OMB shall establish a working group consisting of Federal and elected State and local officials to make recommendations to the Director of OMB designed to improve the effectiveness of single audits of State and local governments and non-profit organizations that are expending Federal funds. The Director of OMB may designate an appropriate official to serve as Chair of the working group to convene its meetings and direct its work. The working group's recommendations shall be prepared in consultation with the CIGIE and submitted within 180 days of the date of this order. The recommendations shall address, among other things, the effectiveness of single audits in identifying improper payments and opportunities to streamline or eliminate single audit requirements where their value is minimal.

(c) Within 30 days of the date of this order, the Director of OMB shall establish a working group (which may be separate from the group established under subsection (b) of this section) consisting of Federal and elected State and local officials to make recommendations to the Director of OMB for administrative actions designed to improve the incentives and accountability of State and local governments, as well as other entities receiving Federal funds, for reducing improper payments. The Director of OMB may designate an appropriate official to serve as Chair of the working group to convene its meetings and direct its work. The working group's recommendations shall be prepared in consultation with the CIGIE and submitted within 180 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 5. Policy Proposals. The Director of OMB, in consultation with the appropriate agencies and the CIGIE, shall develop policy recommendations, including potential legislative proposals, designed to reduce improper payments, including those caused by error, waste, fraud, and abuse, across Federal programs without compromising program access, to be included, as appropriate, in the Budget of the United States Government for Fiscal Year 2011 and future years, or other Administration proposals.

Sec. 6. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department, agency, the head thereof, or any agency Inspector General; or

(ii) functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to require the disclosure of classified information, law enforcement sensitive information, or other information that must be protected in the interests of national security.

(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Barack Obama.      

Ex. Ord. No. 13681. Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions

Ex. Ord. No. 13681, Oct. 17, 2014, 79 F.R. 63491, provided:

Given that identity crimes, including credit, debit, and other payment card fraud, continue to be a risk to U.S. economic activity, and given the economic consequences of data breaches, the United States must take further action to enhance the security of data in the financial marketplace. While the U.S. Government's credit, debit, and other payment card programs already include protections against fraud, the Government must further strengthen the security of consumer data and encourage the adoption of enhanced safeguards nationwide in a manner that protects privacy and confidentiality while maintaining an efficient and innovative financial system.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to improve the security of consumer financial transactions in both the private and public sectors, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Secure Government Payments. In order to strengthen data security and thereby better protect citizens doing business with the Government, executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall, as soon as possible, transition payment processing terminals and credit, debit, and other payment cards to employ enhanced security features, including chip-and-PIN technology. In determining enhanced security features to employ, agencies shall consider relevant voluntary consensus standards and specifications, as appropriate, consistent with the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget Circular A–119.

(a) The Secretary of the Treasury shall take necessary steps to ensure that payment processing terminals acquired by agencies through the Department of the Treasury or through alternative means authorized by the Department of the Treasury have enhanced security features. No later than January 1, 2015, all new payment processing terminals acquired in these ways shall include hardware necessary to support such enhanced security features. By January 1, 2015, the Department of the Treasury shall develop a plan for agencies to install enabling software that supports enhanced security features.

(b) The Administrator of General Services shall take necessary steps to ensure that credit, debit, and other payment cards provided through General Services Administration (GSA) contracts have enhanced security features, and shall begin replacing credit, debit, and other payment cards without enhanced security features no later than January 1, 2015.

(c) The Secretary of the Treasury shall take necessary steps to ensure that Direct Express prepaid debit cards for administering Government benefits have enhanced security features, and by January 1, 2015, the Department of the Treasury shall develop a plan for the replacement of Direct Express prepaid debit cards without enhanced security features.

(d) By January 1, 2015, other agencies with credit, debit, and other payment card programs shall provide to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) plans for ensuring that their credit, debit, and other payment cards have enhanced security features.

(e) Nothing in this order shall be construed to preclude agencies from adopting additional standards or upgrading to more effective technology and standards to improve the security of consumer financial transactions as technologies and threats evolve.

Sec. 2. Improved Identity Theft Remediation. To reduce the burden on consumers who have been victims of identity theft, including by substantially reducing the amount of time necessary for a consumer to remediate typical incidents:

(a) by February 15, 2015, the Attorney General, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall issue guidance to promote regular submissions, as appropriate and permitted by law, by Federal law enforcement agencies of compromised credentials to the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance's Internet Fraud Alert System;

(b) the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce, and the Social Security Administration shall identify all publicly available agency resources for victims of identity theft, and shall provide to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) information about such resources no later than March 15, 2015, with updates thereafter as necessary. These agencies shall work in consultation with the FTC to streamline these resources and consolidate them wherever possible at the FTC's public Web site, IdentityTheft.gov; and

(c) OMB and GSA shall assist the FTC in enhancing the functionality of IdentityTheft.gov, including by coordinating with the credit bureaus to streamline the reporting and remediation process with credit bureaus' systems to the extent feasible, and in making the enhanced site available to the public by May 15, 2015.

Sec. 3. Securing Federal Transactions Online. To help ensure that sensitive data are shared only with the appropriate person or people, within 90 days of the date of this order, the National Security Council staff, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and OMB shall present to the President a plan, consistent with the guidance set forth in the 2011 National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, to ensure that all agencies making personal data accessible to citizens through digital applications require the use of multiple factors of authentication and an effective identity proofing process, as appropriate. Within 18 months of the date of this order, relevant agencies shall complete any required implementation steps set forth in the plan prepared pursuant to this section.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Barack Obama.      

Finding and Recapturing Improper Payments

Memorandum of President of the United States, Mar. 10, 2010, 75 F.R. 12119, provided:

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

My Administration is committed to reducing payment errors and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in Federal programs-a commitment reflected in Executive Order 13520 of November 20, 2009, Reducing Improper Payments. Executive departments and agencies should use every tool available to identify and subsequently reclaim the funds associated with improper payments. Thorough identification of improper payments promotes accountability at executive departments and agencies; it also makes the integrity of Federal spending transparent to taxpayers. Reclaiming the funds associated with improper payments is a critical component of the proper stewardship and protection of taxpayer dollars, and it underscores that waste, fraud, and abuse by entities receiving Federal payments will not be tolerated.

Today, to further intensify efforts to reclaim improper payments, my Administration is expanding the use of "Payment Recapture Audits," which have proven to be effective mechanisms for detecting and recapturing payment errors. A Payment Recapture Audit is a process of identifying improper payments paid to contractors or other entities whereby highly skilled accounting specialists and fraud examiners use state-of-the-art tools and technology to examine payment records and uncover such problems as duplicate payments, payments for services not rendered, overpayments, and fictitious vendors. (A Payment Recapture Audit as used in this memorandum shall have the same meaning as the term "recovery audit" as defined in Appendix C to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123.) One approach that has worked effectively is using professional and specialized auditors on a contingency basis, with their compensation tied to the identification of misspent funds.

Therefore, I hereby direct executive departments and agencies to expand their use of Payment Recapture Audits, to the extent permitted by law and where cost-effective. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shall develop guidance within 90 days of the date of this memorandum on actions executive departments and agencies must take to carry out the requirements of this memorandum. The guidance may require additional actions and strategies designed to improve the recapture of improper payments, including, as appropriate, agency-specific targets for increasing recoveries. The Director of the OMB shall further coordinate with the Council for Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency to identify an appropriate process for obtaining review by Inspectors General of the effectiveness of agency efforts under this memorandum. The agencies' expanded use of Payment Recapture Audits does not preclude Offices of Inspectors General from performing any activities to identify and prevent improper payments.

Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to require the disclosure of classified information, law enforcement sensitive information, or other information that must be protected in the interests of national security.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Director of the OMB is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

Barack Obama.      

Enhancing Payment Accuracy Through a "Do Not Pay List"

Memorandum of President of the United States, June 18, 2010, 75 F.R. 35953, provided:

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

My Administration is committed to eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in Federal programs, including reducing and recapturing erroneous payments-a commitment I reinforced in Executive Order 13520 of November 20, 2009, and in a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies (agencies) of March 10, 2010. While identifying and recapturing improper payments is important, prevention of payment errors before they occur should be the first priority in protecting taxpayer resources from waste, fraud, and abuse. In those cases where data available to agencies clearly shows that a potential recipient of a Federal payment is ineligible for it, subsequent payment to that recipient is unacceptable. We must ensure that such payments are not made.

Agencies maintain many databases containing information on a recipient's eligibility to receive Federal benefits payments or Federal awards, such as grants and contracts. By checking these databases before making payments or awards, agencies can identify ineligible recipients and prevent certain improper payments from being made in the first place.

Therefore, I hereby direct agencies to review current pre-payment and pre-award procedures and ensure that a thorough review of available databases with relevant information on eligibility occurs before the release of any Federal funds, to the extent permitted by law. At a minimum, agencies shall, before payment and award, check the following existing databases (where applicable and permitted by law) to verify eligibility: the Social Security Administration's Death Master File, the General Services Administration's Excluded Parties List System, the Department of the Treasury's Debt Check Database, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Credit Alert System or Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System, and the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General's List of Excluded Individuals/Entities. This network of databases, and additional databases so designated by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in consultation with agencies, shall be collectively known as the "Do Not Pay List." This memorandum requires agencies to review these databases with the recognition that there may be circumstances when the law nevertheless requires a payment or award to be made to a recipient listed in them. My Administration began coordination of the databases discussed in this memorandum in April 2010 by launching the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), which integrates various sources of information on the eligibility of Government contractors for award. No later than 120 days of the date of this memorandum, the Director of the OMB shall provide to the President a plan for completing integration for the remaining databases, to the extent permitted by law, so that agencies can access them through a single entry point.

Each agency shall, within 90 days of the date of this memorandum, submit to the OMB a plan that includes information on its current pre-payment and pre-award procedures and a list of databases that the agency checks pursuant to those procedures. Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, the Director of the OMB shall issue guidance, to be developed in consultation with affected agencies and taking into account current agency pre-payment and pre-award practices, on actions agencies must take to carry out this memorandum's requirements. This guidance shall clarify that the head of each agency is responsible for ensuring an efficient and accurate process for determining whether the information provided on the "Do Not Pay List" is sufficient to stop a payment, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, and, if so, whether a payment should be stopped under the circumstances. In addition, this guidance shall identify best practices and databases that agencies should utilize to conduct pre-payment checks to ensure that only eligible recipients receive Government benefits or payments.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Director of the OMB is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

Barack Obama.      

1 So in original. The period probably should not appear.