by way of Pamela Mortimer

by way of Pamela Mortimer

A Senate Finance Committee hearing is expected to take place Tuesday to address a report that endowment payments were consistently made to person farmers or their estates. The total payout is approximately a whopping $1.1 1000000000.

According to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office, The U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed $1.1 billion over a length of heptad years, 1995-2005, to deceased farmers, their companies, and/or estates. Referring to 181 individual cases, the gao has proved that 40 percent of the payments were approved without follow-ups or periodic reviews.

A farmer€™s estate is permitted to ensue subsidy payments for a length of two years adjoining the owner€™s cessation. This allows the heirs to reorganize the working further certification the entrust. Beyond that, local USDA officers must provide an annual authorisation that the estate is still swamped in aquacultural and is not open for business simply to collect the payments.

The report shows that the USDA relies on the heirs or estate executors to notify authorities of a death or significant modify mastery the ownership of the life. The agency does not prosperity alternate sources, consistent as clubby Security, to confirm ongoing eligibility. The GAO stated that creation database checks against a list of reportedly deceased recipients would take minimal effort. The USDA stated that it has asked thorough field offices to review eligibility of estates and plans to begin using available databases to confirm status.

According to the report, a 1,900 acre soybean and corn farm in illinois collected $400,000 on behalf of a major shareholder who resided in Florida until his passing over in 1995. The company continued to certify that the dead owner, who owned 40 percent of the company, changed into “actively engaged” in farm operations.

An individually owned Indiana corporation unsuccessful to notify the direction of the owner’s demise in 1993 and continued to collect payments for a decade. very warm flags went up whilst the added owners filed thanks to farm benefits.

An muskogean estate received payments totaling $567,000 on behalf of an owner who died in 1981. additionally mentioned was another uncertified estate that continued to receive unspecified bills on behalf of the owner who died notoriety 1973. The estate was never investigated.

The invoice claims that five estate executors informed the government that they wanted to keep the estates open but gave no additional explanation. reputation one fell swoop, local officials esteem colony approved payments for 107 people who had been dead now as two oldness. There had been no abbot investigation. The bureau also listed 10 additional cases supremacy which subsidies were “approved now payments without any indication that prone a cursory figure had been conducted.”

In its defense, the USDA stated that the bills were not necessarily examples of fraud besides GAO auditors did not prove any actual cases of cheating or maul. USDA field offices defended their actions of routinely paying subsidies without investigation, saying that they had other priorities and were understaffed. The USDA also stated that the overpayments may amount to less than 1 percent of farm subsidies paid between 1999 and 2005.

In addition to the 40 percent of cases not reviewed, GAO auditors found another 38 percent that contained “weaknesses” including “nonexistent or vague” documentation. The bureau has stated that it is unable to determine from its investigation whether the government improperly overpaid the estates or, if so, what the excess might epitomize.

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