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The federal government's improper payments totaled about $125 billion in fiscal 2010 as unemployment insurance and Medicaid payments increased, officials said Tuesday. But agencies also recovered about $687 million mistakenly paid to delinquent government contractors and beneficiaries.
The government's total improper payment amount climbed $15 billion from the previous year, according to statistics from the Office of Management and Budget. The payments included about 89,000 checks for $250 each
the more that is paid out, the more paid out in error even if the overall rate declines
The overall payment error rate dropped to 5.49 percent in fiscal 2010, down from 5.65 percent the previous year. The drop means the government avoided making about $3.8 billion in improper payments, OMB said.
"We're right on target - in fact, as we look at the numbers, we're ahead of schedule," OMB Controller Danny Werfel said Tuesday.