Obama to agencies: Don’t pay dead people

The government sent benefit checks to 20,000 departed Americans over three years, totaling more than $180 million — a remarkable number that provoked the Obama administration to create a government-wide “do not pay” list as part of its brainstorming for ways to save taxpayer money.

Once the database is up and running, agencies will have to search it before sending out payments. A pre-check check, so to speak.

“We’re making sure that payments no longer go to the deceased — it sounds ridiculous even to say it,” acknowledged Vice President Joe Biden in describing the database.

Also planned for inclusion: contractors who’ve fallen behind in their payments or, even worse, landed in jail, and companies that have been suspended or otherwise deemed ineligible for government work.

Clarion Ledger
6/18/10