[Senate Report 115-352]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


                                                    Calendar No. 639
115th Congress      }                         {
                                 SENATE                      Report
 2d Session         }                         {              115-352
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

           STOPPING IMPROPER PAYMENTS TO DECEASED PEOPLE ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                S. 2374

             TO AMEND THE IMPROPER PAYMENTS ELIMINATION AND
           RECOVERY IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2012, INCLUDING MAKING
           CHANGES TO THE DO NOT PAY INITIATIVE, FOR IMPROVED
 DETECTION, PREVENTION, AND RECOVERY OF IMPROPER PAYMENTS TO DECEASED 
                  INDIVIDUALS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
                  
                  
                  

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]





               November 13, 2018.--Ordered to be printed
                                   ______

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

89-010                      WASHINGTON : 2018
               
               
               
               
               
               
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
JOHN HOEVEN, North Dakota            KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
STEVE DAINES, Montana                DOUG JONES, Alabama

                  Christopher R. Hixon, Staff Director
                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Chief Counsel
       Patrick J. Bailey, Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
               Margaret E. Daum, Minority Staff Director
       Charles A. Moskowitz, Minority Senior Legislative Counsel
                 Katherine C. Sybenga, Minority Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk






                                                    Calendar No. 639
115th Congress      }                         {
                                 SENATE                      Report
 2d Session         }                         {              115-352
 
======================================================================



 
                STOPPING IMPROPER PAYMENTS TO DECEASED 
                               PEOPLE ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 13, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2374]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 2374) to amend the 
Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 
2012, including making changes to the Do Not Pay Initiative, 
for improved detection, prevention, and recovery of improper 
payments to deceased individuals, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and recommends that 
the bill, as amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I.  Purpose and Summary.............................................1
 II. Background and the Need for Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................4
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................5
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................6
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................6
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............8

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    S. 2374, the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People 
Act, seeks to reduce inadvertent and improper payments by 
Federal agencies to individuals who are deceased and to reduce 
the number of living people mistakenly listed as dead by the 
Federal Government. The bill accomplishes these goals by 
requiring the Social Security Administration (SSA) to develop a 
process to improve the accuracy of the death data it collects 
and by sharing such death information with additional Federal 
agencies for the purposes of preventing improper payments, 
improving tax administration, aiding law enforcement, and for 
other purposes.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\On June 29, 2015, the Committee approved S. 1073, the Stopping 
Improper Payments to Deceased People Act. That bill is substantially 
similar to S. 2374, which has been modified only slightly. Accordingly, 
this committee report is in large part a reproduction of Chairman 
Johnson's committee report for S. 1073, S. Rep. No. 114-249 (2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    S. 2374 is the result of years of congressional oversight 
by the Committee into improper payments by the Federal 
Government to people who are deceased. The Committee's first 
investigation resulted in a report by the then-Ranking Member 
of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Senator 
Tom Coburn, titled Federal Programs to Die for: American Tax 
Dollars Sent Six Feet Under.\2\ The report identified over $1 
billion paid to more than 250,000 deceased individuals in the 
decade preceding the report.\3\ The report highlighted the 
payment of farm subsidies, rental assistance, and stimulus 
support to individuals who were deceased.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Senator Tom Coburn, Federal Programs to Die For: American Tax 
Dollars Sent Six Feet Under (Oct. 2010), available at https://
www.restoreaccountability.com/sites/restoreacc/uploads/documents/
library_docs/FINAL-Federal_Programs_To_Di_For.pdf.
    \3\Id.
    \4\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Of concern is the Federal Government's inability to ensure 
that all recipients of Federal funds are alive. The report by 
Senator Coburn noted a response to the Committee by then-SSA 
Commissioner Michael Astrue that ``it is extremely expensive 
and may even be impossible to determine if a person is alive or 
dead particularly if the person died many years ago.''\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Committee hearings and continued oversight in both the 
113th and 114th congressional sessions have found that the 
death data available to Federal agencies is not always 
accurate, and that many agencies that provide Federal benefits 
do not have access to all of the information they need to 
prevent improper payments to deceased individuals.\6\ While SSA 
maintains a file with the death reports it receives from family 
members, funeral homes, states, Federal agencies, postal 
authorities, and financial institutions, most Federal agencies 
do not have access to the complete death information and 
instead rely on a slimmed down, less complete, and less timely 
version of this file that is commonly referred to as the 
``Death Master File.''\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\See, e.g., Curbing Federal Agency Waste and Fraud: New Steps to 
Strengthen the Integrity of Federal Payments: Hearing Before the S. 
Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 113th Cong. (2013); 
Examining Federal Improper Payments and Errors in the Death Master 
File: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental 
Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015) [hereinafter Examining Federal Improper 
Payments and Errors in the Death Master File].
    \7\Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-13-574T, Social Security 
Administration: Preliminary Observations on the Death Master File 2-3 
(2013), available at http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/654411.pdf 
[hereinafter, SSA Preliminary Observations].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SSA became the Federal clearinghouse for death data 
following a 1983 amendment to the Social Security Act 
authorizing the agency to collect and pay for death information 
from individual state vital records agencies.\8\ Recognizing 
the value of this authorization, SSA began contracting with 
state vital records agencies to provide reports of death.\9\ To 
incentivize faster reporting of deaths by states, SSA pays 
these state agencies more based on the timeliness of their 
reporting.\10\ Faster reports of death allow SSA to cease 
benefit payments more quickly and in some cases help avoid 
devoting agency resources to recouping overpayments from 
grieving families.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\42 U.S.C. Sec. 405(r).
    \9\SSA Preliminary Observations at 3.
    \10\Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-14-46: Social Security Death 
Data: Additional Action Needed to Address Data Errors and Federal 
Agency Access (2013), available at http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/
659289.pdf [hereinafter Social Security Death Data].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When SSA receives a death report from a state vital record 
agency, it does not verify the report prior to entering it into 
the death data.\11\ This is because states that participate in 
the electronic death registry program submit their reports over 
the Internet, and reports cannot be filed unless the fields are 
an exact match.\12\ Therefore, these death reports are 
considered the most accurate and are unlikely to contain basic 
keystroke errors. If SSA receives a death report from a funeral 
home or family member, the agency enters the information 
manually and only verifies the death report if the individual 
was receiving benefits from SSA.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Social Security Death Data at 10.
    \12\Id. at 12.
    \13\Id. at 10, 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The increased reliance on death data provided by the states 
through electronic death registry has resulted in improvements 
in SSA's death data, making it more valuable for SSA and other 
Federal agencies that are able to utilize this information to 
prevent payments to deceased people in their own programs.\14\ 
However, the law that authorized SSA to contract with the state 
agencies for the death reports only allowed SSA to share such 
information for the purpose of ensuring proper payments of 
benefits.\15\ This is why SSA creates two versions of the death 
data: one complete list that is provided to agencies considered 
to be benefit-paying agencies, and one partial list, the DMF, 
that does not contain the data from the state vital records 
agencies.\16\ The DMF is then sold to eligible private sector 
entities and other government agencies by the Department of 
Commerce's National Technical Information Service (NTIS).\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\Id. at 5.
    \15\Id. at 19.
    \16\Id. at 21-22.
    \17\Id. at 21.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As a result of SSA's interpretation of which agencies are 
``benefit-paying'' and which are not, some Federal agencies 
purchase a version of the death data from NTIS that is 
incomplete and more likely to be inaccurate than the complete 
death data provided to other Federal agencies.\18\ Furthermore, 
the DMF will contain fewer of the total deaths over time.\19\ 
As states and jurisdictions increasingly adopt electronic 
processes for providing the death reports to SSA, the state-
provided death reports will become a larger percentage of the 
overall death reports received by SSA.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Id. at 22.
    \19\Id.
    \20\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accuracy problems with the DMF have real-world 
consequences. For example, the SSA Office of Inspector General 
(OIG) found that SSA mistakenly listed 6.5 million holders of 
Social Security Numbers (SSNs) as alive who were older than 112 
years old, despite the fact that there was only one known 
living person of that age in the United States at that 
time.\21\ The OIG did not conduct an extensive investigation 
into the potential misuse of all of these 6.5 million SSNs, but 
did find that over a five-year period, $3.1 billion in earnings 
were reported under approximately 67,000 of the SSNs.\22\ The 
OIG also found that over a three-year period, there were 
approximately 4,000 E-Verify inquiries submitted to SSA through 
the Department of Homeland Security for SSNs of individuals 
over 112,\23\ indicating that someone was attempting to obtain 
employment using those numbers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Examining Federal Improper Payments and Errors in the Death 
Master File at 2 (statement of the Honorable Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr., 
Inspector General, U.S. Social Security Administration).
    \22\Id. 23
    \23\Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to concerns over improper payments resulting 
from an inaccurate DMF, the OIG raised concerns about SSA 
mistakenly listing living individuals as deceased.\24\ 
According to SSA, there are nearly 1,000 living individuals 
each month who are mistakenly listed as deceased in the 
DMF.\25\ For some of these individuals, it is a relatively 
simple error to correct. For others, however, the result can be 
devastating.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Id.
    \25\Id.
    \26\Examining Federal Improper Payments and Errors in the Death 
Master File (statement of Judy Rivers).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Problems persist despite continued oversight and 
congressional interest, evidencing the need for legislation. 
For example, the OIG reported again in August 2018 that it had 
identified hundreds more SSA beneficiaries who received 
benefits, despite Treasury Department records indicating they 
were deceased.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, A-
06-18-50568, Match of Treasury Death Information Against Social 
Security Administration Records (2013), available at https://
oig.ssa.gov/sites/default/files/audit/full/pdf/A-06-18-50568.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    S. 2374 directs SSA to share the most complete death data 
with the Department of the Treasury's Do Not Pay system and all 
Federal agencies for the purposes of preventing improper 
payments, aiding law enforcement, and improving tax 
administration and collection. This requirement will end five 
years after the bill is enacted to allow Congress to reassess 
whether there is an alternative source of death data for 
Federal agencies. The legislation also requires that SSA 
develop a plan to improve the accuracy and completeness of the 
death data it collects and improves the use of death data by 
government agencies.

                        III. Legislative History

    Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced S. 2374 on February 5, 
2018. The bill was referred to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered S. 2374 at a June 13, 2018, 
business meeting. The Committee favorably reported the bill, as 
amended by a substitute amendment, en bloc by voice vote. 
Senators present for the vote were Johnson, Portman, Lankford, 
Enzi, McCaskill, Carper, Peters, Hassan, Harris, and Jones.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section establishes the short title of the bill as the 
``Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act.''

Section 2. Distribution of death information furnished to or maintained 
        by the Social Security Administration

    Subsection (a) amends Section 205(r) of the Social Security 
Act to require, rather than allow, SSA to compensate states for 
the provision of death information, and makes ensuring the 
completeness, timeliness, and accuracy of the death data a 
reason for the compensation.
    Subsection (a) strikes paragraphs (3), (4), and (5) of 
section 205(r) of the Social Security Act and reauthorizes 
these authorities with some technical drafting changes in new 
subsections (3)(A), (4), and (5). Subsection (a) also requires 
the Commissioner of Social Security, to the extent feasible, to 
provide for the use of information regarding all deceased 
individuals furnished to or maintained by SSA through a 
cooperative arrangement in order for a Federal agency to carry 
out any of the following purposes: (1) operating the Do Not Pay 
working system; (2) oversight by inspectors general; (3) to 
carry out tax administration or debt collection duties of the 
agency; or (4) for use by any policing agency of the federal 
government with the principle function of prevention, 
detection, or investigation of crime or apprehension of 
offenders. The agreements will require agencies to reimburse 
SSA for the reasonable cost of providing such information. 
Subsection (a) also provides that the amendments made by this 
subsection are repealed five years after the date of enactment.
    Subsection (b) amends section 6103(d)(4) of the Internal 
Revenue Code to require States to have an agreement in place 
with the Commissioner of Social Security, instead of the 
Secretary of Health and Human Services, in order to receive 
certain Federal tax return information. Current law already 
requires states to have an agreement with the Secretary of 
Health and Human Services to receive certain federal tax 
information. Subsection (b) changes current law so that the 
agreement would be made with the Commissioner of Social 
Security, instead of the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services, and would allow the Commissioner of Social Security 
to share the state provided death information for the 
additional purposes in subsection (a) of this bill. It also 
includes an effective date 180 days after enactment.
    Subsection (c) requires the SSA Commissioner, in 
consultation with the Treasury Secretary, to provide to 
Congress a report with the results of a review of potential 
alternative sources of death data maintained by nonfederal 
sources, including sources maintained by State agencies for the 
use by Federal agencies and partners. The report should include 
a recommendation regarding whether to extend the agency access 
to the death data provided by SSA under this bill.

Section 3. Improving the use of death data by Government Agencies to 
        curb improper payments

    This section creates a new section in the Improper Payments 
Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 that requires 
the Office of Management and Budget to provide guidance to 
Federal agencies regarding the use of death data and to develop 
a plan to assist states, local governments, and Indian tribes 
in providing electronic death records to SSA within one year.
    This section also requires a report to be submitted to 
Congress within one year concerning how States, local 
governments, and Indian tribes will improve data matching with 
the Federal Government with respect to the death of 
individuals.

Section 4. Plan for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of death 
        data maintained by the Social Security Administration

    This section requires the Commissioner of SSA to submit a 
plan to Congress within one year of enactment to improve the 
accuracy and completeness of death data maintained and 
distributed by SSA. The plan must include a procedure for 
identifying individuals who are listed as alive but older than 
the oldest known living person in SSA records, improved 
procedures for identifying and correcting erroneous records, 
and a process for employing statistical analysis of the death 
data to determine and estimate the number of erroneous records.

Section 5. Report on information security

    This section requires the Commissioner of SSA to report to 
Congress on information security within 90 days of enactment.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on 
state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 16, 2018.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2374, the Stopping 
Improper Payments to Deceased People Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Noah 
Meyerson and Matt Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 2374--Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act

    S. 2374 would expand how data on deaths is used by federal 
and state agencies for the purpose of limiting improper federal 
payments. The bill would require the Social Security 
Administration (SSA) to share all such information with more 
agencies and for a broader range of purposes.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 2374 would increase 
discretionary costs by an insignificant amount. Enacting S. 
2374 could reduce direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that such effects 
would probably be insignificant. The bill would not affect 
revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 2374 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    Under current law, SSA collects information on deaths and 
maintains a record of all deaths reported to the agency dating 
to 1936. SSA has almost 118 million death records, which 
include the deceased person's name, social security number, 
date of birth, and date of death. SSA uses those data to 
administer its own programs and shares the information with 
other agencies that administer federal benefit programs.
    SSA provides the entire death file to some federal 
agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service. SSA also has 
agreements with other agencies, such as state agencies 
administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, so 
that those agencies can periodically verify that program 
applicants and recipients are not included in those death 
records. The Department of Commerce makes the Death Master File 
(DMF), a subset of those data, available to nongovernmental 
organizations after the department certifies that they have a 
legitimate purpose for using the data; for example, preventing 
fraud. The DMF, which has information on more than 96 million 
deceased individuals, excludes death data reported by states, 
because SSA may share data on deaths reported by states only in 
limited circumstances, such as to agencies that pay federal 
benefits. (A subset of the DMF, which is available to the 
general public through the Department of Commerce, excludes 
both death data reported by states and data on deaths within 
the past three years.)
    S. 2374 would require SSA to share its complete death 
records with more agencies and for a broader range of purposes. 
It also would make the complete death file, rather than only 
the DMF, available to the Do Not Pay program--a program 
administered by the Department of the Treasury that allows 
agencies to check various databases before making payments in 
order to identify ineligible recipients. Hence, there would 
likely be more frequent checks against the more complete file 
than occurs under current law. Those provisions would expire 
five years after enactment of the bill. The bill would require 
the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to 
recommend, within four years of enactment, whether to extend 
the broader data access.
    The expanded availability of information on deaths would 
probably reduce the amount of mistaken payments. However, large 
benefit-paying agencies generally already use the complete 
death file, so CBO expects that enacting the bill would not 
reduce the number of payments to deceased people by a 
significant amount. In addition, the Department of the Treasury 
has mechanisms to recover improper payments that are identified 
at a later time, so many such payments are already recovered. 
For those reasons, CBO estimates that enacting S. 2374 would 
reduce direct spending by an insignificant amount.
    The bill also would require the director of OMB to review 
alternative sources of death data and report its findings to 
the Congress, to provide guidance to relevant agencies on how 
to access death data, and to develop a plan to assist state and 
local governments in providing death data to the federal 
government. However, under current law and OMB guidance, 
agencies already are required to assess their programs for risk 
and initiate program improvements to reduce and eliminate 
payment errors. In addition, CBO expects that many options to 
eliminate improper payments have been reviewed and analyzed by 
OMB and agencies. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing those 
provisions would increase agency administrative costs by an 
insignificant amount.
    S. 2374 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Noah Meyerson 
and Matthew Pickford. The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel 
Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows: (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 26--THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle F--Procedure and Administration

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 61--INFORMATION AND RETURNS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Subchapter B--Miscellaneous Provisions

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 6103. CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE OF RETURNS AND RETURN 
                    INFORMATION.

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (d) Disclosure to State Tax Officials and State and Local 
Law Enforcement Agencies.--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (4) * * *
                  (A) In general.--No returns or return 
                information may be disclosed under paragraph 
                (1) to any agency, body, or commission of any 
                State (or any legal representative thereof) 
                during any period during which a contract 
                meeting the requirements of subparagraph (B) is 
                not in effect between such State and the 
                [Secretary of Health and Human Services] 
                Commissioner of Social Security.
                  (B) Contractual requirements.--A contract 
                meets the requirements of this subparagraph 
                if--
                          (i) such contract requires the State 
                        to furnish the [Secretary of Health and 
                        Human Services] Commissioner of Social 
                        Security information concerning 
                        individuals with respect to whom death 
                        certificates (or equivalent documents 
                        maintained by the State or any 
                        subdivision thereof) have been 
                        officially filed with it, and
                          (ii) such contract does not include 
                        any restriction on the use of 
                        information obtained by [such Secretary 
                        pursuant to such contract, except that 
                        such contract may provide that such 
                        information is only to be used by the 
                        Secretary (or any other Federal agency) 
                        for purposes of ensuring that Federal 
                        benefits or other payments are not 
                        erroneously paid to deceased 
                        individuals] such Commissioner pursuant 
                        to such contract, except that such 
                        contract may provide that such 
                        information is only to be used by the 
                        Social Security Administration (or any 
                        other Federal agency) for purposes 
                        authorized in the Social Security Act 
                        or this title.
Any information obtained by the [Secretary of Health and Human 
Services] Commissioner of Social Security under such a contract 
shall be exempt from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, 
United States Code, and from the requirements of section 552a 
of such title 5.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 31--MONEY AND FINANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3321. Disbursing authority in the executive branch

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 8. IMPROVING THE USE OF DATA BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FOR CURBING 
                    IMPROPER PAYMENTS.

    (a) Guidance by the Office of Management and Budget.--
          (1) Guidance to agencies.--Not later than 1 year 
        after the date of enactment of this section, and in 
        consultation with the Council of Inspectors General on 
        Integrity and Efficiency and the heads of other 
        relevant Federal, State, and local agencies, and Indian 
        tribes and tribal organizations, the Director of the 
        Office of Management and Budget shall issue guidance 
        for each agency or component of an agency that operates 
        or maintains a database of information relating to 
        beneficiaries, annuity recipients, or any purpose 
        described in section 205(r)(3)(B) of the Social 
        Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(r)(3)(B)) for which 
        improved data matching with databases relating to the 
        death of an individual (in this section referred to as 
        `death databases') would be relevant and necessary 
        regarding implementation of this section to provide 
        such agencies or components access to the death 
        databases no later than 1 year after such date of 
        enactment.
          (2) Plan to assist states and local agencies and 
        indian tribes and tribal organizations.--Not later than 
        1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the 
        Secretary of Health and Human Services and the 
        Secretary of the Treasury shall jointly develop a plan 
        to assist States and local agencies, and Indian tribes 
        and tribal organizations, in providing electronically 
        to the Federal Government records relating to the death 
        of individuals, which may include recommendations to 
        Congress for any statutory changes or financial 
        assistance to States and local agencies and Indian 
        tribes and tribal organizations that are necessary to 
        ensure States and local agencies and Indian tribes and 
        tribal organizations can provide such records 
        electronically. The plan may include recommendations 
        for the authorization of appropriations or other 
        funding to carry out the plan.
    (b) Reports.--
          (1) Report to congress on improving data matching 
        regarding payments to deceased individuals.--Not later 
        than 1 year after the date of enactment of this 
        section, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation 
        with the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, and 
        in consultation with States and local agencies, Indian 
        tribes and tribal organizations, shall submit to 
        Congress a plan to improve how States and local 
        agencies and Indian tribes and tribal organizations 
        that provide benefits under a federally funded program 
        will improve data matching with the Federal Government 
        with respect to the death of individuals who are 
        recipients of such benefits.
          (2) Annual report.--Not later than 1 year after the 
        date of enactment of this section, and for each of the 
        4 succeeding years, the Secretary of the Treasury shall 
        submit to Congress a report regarding the 
        implementation of this section. The first report 
        submitted under this paragraph shall include the 
        recommendations of the Secretary required under 
        subsection (a)(2).
          (c) Definitions.--In this section, the terms ``Indian 
        tribe'' and ``tribal organization'' have the meanings 
        given those terms in section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 
        450b).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 42--THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 7--SOCIAL SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



  Subchapter II--Federal Old-age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance 
Benefits

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SEC. 405. EVIDENCE, PROCEDURE, AND CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENTS.

    (a) * * *

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    (r) * * *
          (1) * * *
          (2) Each State (or political subdivision thereof) 
        which furnishes the Commissioner of Social Security 
        with information on records of deaths in the State or 
        subdivision under this subsection [may] shall be paid 
        by the Commissioner of Social Security from amounts 
        available for administration of this chapter the 
        reasonable costs (established by the Commissioner of 
        Social Security in consultations with the States) for 
        transcribing and transmitting, and to ensure the 
        completeness, timeliness, and accuracy of such 
        information to the Commissioner of Social Security.
          [(3) In the case of individuals with respect to whom 
        federally funded benefits are provided by (or through) 
        a Federal or State agency other than under this 
        chapter, the Commissioner of Social Security shall to 
        the extent feasible provide such information through a 
        cooperative arrangement with such agency, for ensuring 
        proper payment of those benefits with respect to such 
        individuals if--
                  [(A) under such arrangement the agency 
                provides reimbursement to the Commissioner of 
                Social Security for the reasonable cost of 
                carrying out such arrangement, and
                  [(B) such arrangement does not conflict with 
                the duties of the Commissioner of Social 
                Security under paragraph (1).]
          [(4) The Commissioner of Social Security may enter 
        into similar agreements with States to provide 
        information for their use in programs wholly funded by 
        the States if the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and 
        (B) of paragraph (3) are met.]
          [(5) The Commissioner of Social Security may use or 
        provide for the use of such records as may be corrected 
        under this section, subject to such safeguards as the 
        Commissioner of Social Security determines are 
        necessary or appropriate to protect the information 
        from unauthorized use or disclosure, for statistical 
        and research activities conducted by Federal and State 
        agencies.]
          (3)(A) In the case of individuals with respect to 
        whom federally funded benefits are provided by (or 
        (through) a Federal or State agency, the Commissioner 
        of Social Security shall to the extent feasibly provide 
        such information through a cooperative arrangement with 
        such agency for ensuring proper payment of those 
        benefits with respect to such individuals if--
                  (i) under such arrangement the agency agrees 
                to such safeguards as the Commissioner 
                determines are necessary or appropriate to 
                protect the information from unauthorized us or 
                disclosure;
                  (ii) under such arrangement the agency 
                provides reimbursement to the Commissioner of 
                Social Security for the reasonable cost of 
                carrying out such arrangement, including the 
                reasonable costs associated with the collection 
                and maintenance of information regarding 
                deceased individuals furnished to the 
                Commissioner pursuant to paragraph (1); and
                  (iii) such arrangement does not conflict with 
                the duties of the Commissioner of Social 
                Security under paragraph (1).
          (B) The Commissioner of Social Security shall, to the 
        extent feasible, provide for the use of information 
        regarding all deceased individuals furnished to or 
        maintained by the Commissioner under this subsection, 
        through a cooperative arrangement in order for a 
        Federal agency to carry out any of the following 
        purposes, if the requirements of clauses (i), (ii), and 
        (iii) of subparagraph (A) are met:
                  (i) Operating the Do Not Pay working system 
                established by section 5 of the Improper 
                Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement 
                Act of 2012. Under such arrangement, the agency 
                operating the working system may compare death 
                information disclosed by the Commissioner with 
                personally identifiable information reviewed 
                through the working system, and may redisclose 
                such comparison of information, as appropriate, 
                to any Federal or State agency authorized to 
                use the working system.
                  (ii) The tax administration duties of the 
                agency.
                  (iii) Oversight activities of the Inspector 
                General of an agency that is provided 
                information regarding all deceased individuals 
                pursuant to this subsection.
                  (iv) Civil or criminal enforcement activities 
                that are authorized by law.
          (C) With respect to the reimbursement to the 
        Commissioner of Social Security for the reasonable cost 
        of carrying out a cooperative arrangement described in 
        subparagraph (A) between the Commissioner of Social 
        Security and an agency, the Commissioner shall--
                  (i) establish a defined calculation method 
                for purposes of calculating the reasonable cost 
                of carrying out the arrangement that does not 
                take into account any services, information, or 
                unrelated payments provided by the agency to 
                the Commissioner; and
                  (ii) reimbursement payments shall be 
                accounted for and recorded separately from 
                other transactions.
          (4) The Commissioner of Social Security may enter 
        into similar arrangements with States to provide 
        information regarding all deceased individuals 
        furnished to or maintained by the Commissioner under 
        this subsection, for any of the purposes specified in 
        paragraph (3)(B), for use by States in programs wholly 
        funded by the States, or for use in the administration 
        of a benefit pension plan or retirement system for 
        employees of a State or a political subdivision 
        thereof, if the requirements of clauses (i), (ii), and 
        (iii) of paragraph (3)(A) are met. For purposes of this 
        paragraph, the terms `retirement system' and `political 
        subdivision' have the meanings given such terms in 
        section 218(b).
          (5) The Commissioner of Social Security may use or 
        provide for the use of information regarding all 
        deceased individuals furnished to or maintained by the 
        Commissioner under this subsection for statistical 
        purposes and research activities by Federal and State 
        agencies (including research activities conducted by 
        nongovernment researchers under a contract or a 
        cooperative arrangement (as such terms are defined for 
        purposes of sections 6303 and 6305, respectively, of 
        title 31, United States Code) with such and agency) if 
        the requirements of clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph 
        (3)(A) are met.

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          (8)(A) The Commissioner of Social Security shall, 
        upon the request of the official responsible for a 
        State driver's license agency pursuant to the Help 
        America Vote Act of 2002--
                  (i) enter into an agreement with such 
                official for the purpose of verifying 
                applicable information, so long as the 
                requirements of [subparagraphs (A) and (B) of 
                paragraph (3)] clauses (i) and (ii) of 
                paragraph (3)(A) are met; and
                  (ii) include in such agreement safeguards to 
                assure the maintenance of the confidentiality 
                of any applicable information disclosed and 
                procedures to permit such agency to use the 
                applicable information for the purpose of 
                maintaining its records.

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