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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014

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About the Partnership Fund

What is the Partnership Fund?

Established by the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation is a program administered by the Office of Management and Budget. With $32.5 million in total appropriations, the Partnership Fund allows Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies to pilot innovative ideas for improving assistance programs in a controlled environment. The pilot projects funded by the Partnership Fund address Federal assistance programs that are administered in cooperation with the states, or where Federal-state cooperation could otherwise be beneficial. Each pilot is carefully evaluated to determine best practices for other states and agencies and inform future policy decisions by the Administration and Congress. With over $29 million allocated to 11 pilots so far, remaining funds are authorized through FY 2013.

Our Mission: Realizing Efficient, Effective Government
At the Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation, we believe that public servants in the Federal government, states, local communities and tribal organizations can better serve their constituents by modernizing technology and transforming the way government does business. Our current methods impose inefficiencies by relying on outmoded business practices and obsolete technologies to administer Federal assistance programs. Well-intended administrative and regulatory processes have created a spider web of redundant and often conflicting requirements that result in barriers to progress.

We cannot afford to maintain these barriers. Instead, we have to find smarter ways to meet the demands of our constituents and act as responsible stewards of taxpayer resources. We are therefore encouraging all stakeholders to identify these barriers and their underlying causes and to propose new solutions. These solutions may be achievable through new technologies, better business processes, more integration of existing systems, responsible, appropriate sharing of data, or other innovations. By piloting the most promising solutions, we can provide substantive data to determine how best to serve the public.

Other questions…

Cost Neutrality

Statute requires that Partnership Fund pilot projects overall “save at least as much as they cost” and “do not achieve savings primarily by reducing the participation of eligible beneficiaries.” The Partnership Fund works with agencies to develop estimates of the costs and savings of each pilot to ensure that, in the aggregate, the pilots save at least as much as they cost. The costs and savings that are considered for cost neutrality include changes in mandatory benefits payments or revenues that result from improved program integrity, increased efficiency, and increased participation as a direct result of the pilot.

Related Initiatives

  • Payment Accuracy: A primary goal of the Partnership Fund is the reduction of improper payments in assistance programs. Improper payments occur when funds go to the wrong recipient, the recipient receives the incorrect amount of funds (including overpayments and underpayments), documentation is not available to support a payment, or the recipient uses funds in an improper manner. President Obama has issued an executive order to reduce improper payments, which has informed the work of the Partnership Fund; a complete summary of the Administration’s efforts to reduce improper payments can be found here. For more information on improving payment accuracy in government, please visit PaymentAccuracy.gov.
  • Do Not Pay List: In June 2010, President Obama issued a memorandum to agencies on enhancing payment accuracy by establishing a “Do Not Pay List,” which will serve as a single source through which all agencies can check the status of a potential recipient (such as a contractor, individual or grantee) by linking the agency to relevant eligibility databases. In November 2010, OMB launched VerifyPayment.gov to serve as a single portal for agencies to check these relevant eligibility databases. The Do Not Pay List could inform the development of pilots, and the Partnership Fund’s Collaborative Forum and Federal Steering Committee may serve as forums for sparking conversations among the Do Not Pay List’s relevant stakeholders.

What the Partnership Fund Does Not Do

The Partnership Fund is not a comprehensive initiative to modernize benefit delivery across all states. It will not supplant existing resources that state and Federal agencies already spend on program administration. Furthermore, it will not interfere with current incentive arrangements that help states improve program integrity for specific programs. The Partnership Fund does not pre-empt existing program statutes. Pilots that achieve savings primarily by imposing barriers to application, or otherwise reducing the participation of eligible beneficiaries, will not be funded.

Our Enabling Legislation

The 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-117) appropriated $37.5 million for the Partnership Fund. The text from the legislation is as follows:

PARTNERSHIP FUND FOR PROGRAM INTEGRITY INNOVATION
(INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

For the Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation, $37,500,000, to remain available until September 30, 2012, which may be used for grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and administrative costs of carrying out Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation pilot projects: Provided, That these funds shall be transferred by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to appropriate agencies to carry out pilot projects and to conduct or provide for evaluation of such projects: Provided further, That such transfers shall be contingent upon the Director of the Office of Management and Budget determining, in consultation with an interagency council consisting of representatives of appropriate Federal agencies, States, and other stakeholders, that the pilot projects address Federal programs that have a substantial State role in eligibility determination or administration or where Federal-State cooperation could otherwise be beneficial; in aggregate, save at least as much money as they cost; demonstrate the potential to streamline administration or strengthen program integrity; and do not achieve savings primarily by reducing the participation of eligible beneficiaries: Provided further, That the interagency council required by the previous proviso shall submit a progress report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate not later than March 31, 2010 and semiannually thereafter until the program is completed, including detailed information on goals, objectives, performance measures, and evaluations of the program in general and of each specific pilot undertaken.