Ritter Insurance Marketing, Craig Ritter

GAO Report that Deficiencies in Internal Controls of Contract Management are Pervasive at CMS

The Government Accoutability Office (GAO) issued a report in October 2009 which concluded that, “The continuing weaknesses in contracting activities and limited progress in addressing known deficiencies raise questions concerning whether CMS management has established an appropriate “tone at the top” regarding contracting activities.  Until CMS management addresses our previous recommendations in this area, along with taking action to address the additional deficiencies identified in this report, its contracting activities will continue to pose significant risk of improper payments, waste and mismanagement.” (See page 36.)

CMS’ Acting Administrator, Charlena Frizzera, responded to the alleged deficiencies and disagreed with many of the GAO findings (See page 54-61).

Given that CMS would likely be the Federal Agency responsible for implementing a “Public Option”, it seems reasonable that we should expect tight internal controls over CMS’ contract management given the potential massive increase in contracting forthcoming to administer a new Federal Health Insurance program.

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