Compliance Automation in the Federal Government

by Michael Facini, Mitchell Faber, and Eric Whisamore

Over the past 3 years, the Federal government has
allocated more than $5 trillion in pandemic-related relief
programs. The velocity of funding was unprecedented
and created new operational concerns for Federal
agencies by transforming the lending and servicing
regulatory framework virtually overnight. During this
time, 41 federal agencies participated in distributing
contracts, grants, and loans, often causing their portfolios
to increase many times over, while still servicing these
portfolios with pre-pandemic levels of resources. As a
result, there has been increased support for the adoption
of technology, such as cloud computing, collaboration
tools, and automation, including within the Biden-Harris
Presidential Management Agenda (PMA) which lays out a
roadmap for “shifting time, effort, and funding from low
to high-value work through the elimination of unnecessary
requirements, burden reduction, optimization and
streamlining, and workload automation.”

Top 10 Federal Agencies

Agency Spotlight

In 2021, The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller (FM&C) implemented the Enterprise Unmatched Transaction (eUMT) system. eUMT identifies financial errors and resolves many underlying errors. The system pulls research and documentation from feeder systems to maintain financial best practices. The eUMT system has “processed over 100k financial records, saving an estimated 95k hours of manual effort.” The success of the eUMT system has been so strong that FM&C has moved forward with the process of extending these capabilities to other facets of their system.

In 2019, The General Services Administration (GSA) developed Truman, a system that aims to streamline the federal acquisition process. Truman “review[s] new offer submissions under the agency’s flagship Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program”. Truman uploads pricing information from vendors to create official documentation. Truman then reviews these documents for compliance using outside information. Truman has reviewed more than 4,000 MAS submissions and has saved over 5,000-man hours.
In 2011, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a predictive analytics program to automate fraud compliance. The program called Fraud Prevention Service (FPS) was implemented to both “identify bad actors and prevent them from enrolling in Medicare” and “take quick action to prevent improper payments”. The FPS provides “valuable data that [CMS contractors] have used in ongoing investigations”. This program was the first of its kind on the federal level and has been a major success for CMS. Within the first year of implementation, CMS saw a return of three dollars for every dollar spent. Now CMS reports a five dollar return for every dollar spent on FPS.

Managing Compliance Performance Through Automation

Federal compliance activities aim to ensure federal programs run as intended and that program funds reach the people who need them most and in a manner that is secure and timely. As technologies advance, compliance systems also require advancement to meet the needs of users and institutions. Today’s agile business environment demands that agencies invest in automation to navigate future disruptions and leverage flexible systems to create value through efficiencies and reduced waste. The federal government is on the precipice of adapting operations with compliance automation to create more value for taxpayers, adding flexibility for its employees, and to meet its future goals. According to the PMA, federal “managers reported spending 40% of their time using antiquated processes to monitor compliance instead of analyzing data to improve results.”

Case Study: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA engaged FI Consulting to provide a fully integrated and adaptable compliance solution to conduct loan and lender assessments, monitor overall portfolio risk, and perform due diligence to ensure taxpayer dollars are protected from waste and abuse. FI leveraged a highly secure cloud architecture to deploy advanced technologies to find anomalies in the data – ensuring compliance with program regulations to support and expedite business processes in real time, allowing program managers to make informed and timely decisions. FI leveraged machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing services to provide SBA the technology necessary to meet the agency’s oversight requirements for administering the $950 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as part of the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus packages. The Compliance Solution incorporates:

    • Advanced Data Analytics Engine to uncover anomalies and trends, assign risk ratings and prioritize automated reviews.
    • Case Management System to track and organize decisions, status updates, and finalize dispositions.
    • Compliance Review Tool to help streamline and standardize, enhance, and accelerate the review process.
    • Document Extraction Models enabling users to efficiently access unstructured data trapped within documents.
    • Web Portal to interface with counterparties to educate and conduct outreach.

Benefits of Compliance Automation

Reduce Costs

As tasks are removed from the compliance workload through automation, agencies may see a decrease in operational costs.

Seamless Integration

FI's Automated Oversight platform leverages technologies that are already used by many agencies.

Gain Flexibility

President Biden’s PMA emphasizes the need for flexible systems. Automation can make agencies more efficient and adaptable.

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