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This week, Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Veronique de Rugy uses data from the United States Department of the Treasury  and the Government Accountability Office  (GAO) to examine recently reported improper payments within the federal government. These improper payments are defined as payments that are either fraudulent or are inadvertent errors (such as miscalculated or duplicate payments, payments for unsupported claims, or services not actually rendered). Since the implementation of the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (IPIA), these reported wasteful payments have increased by over 500% to $125.4 billion in fiscal year 2010.