Oversight of the Management of the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs:

Are the Complaints Justified

GAO-02-964R: Published: Jul 19, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2002.

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GAO has shown that cross-matching or data sharing can be a valuable management and oversight practice. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) already has the right to access Social Security Administration's (SSA) data. However, such access is subject to SSA's approval--the Code of Federal Regulations provides that "OWCP may verify the earnings reported by the employee through a variety of means, including by not limited to computer matches with the Office of Personnel Management and inquiries to SSA." Prior GAO work has demonstrated the importance of, and potential savings from, checking applicants' and beneficiaries' initial and continuing eligibility for federal benefits by verifying the economic information they provide with independent, third-party sources.

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