(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Starting in Spring 2019, the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) began working with InnovateOhio data analytics professionals to develop a way to identify duplicate payments in the state government accounting system. Duplicate payments are common across industries and, with more than 18 million transactions annually, modern data tools and methods allowed Ohio to detect subtle duplications that escape human review.
After strategic adjustments to the analytics to improve the quality of the results, OBM utilized the InnovateOhio Platform technologies to conduct a pilot review. The review acquired payment data across all agencies, excluding subsidy payments that are made through agencies such as the Department of Medicaid. The team reviewed payment data from January to September of 2019 to determine any possible duplicate payments within Ohio’s government.
The project identified a total of 56 duplicate payments, totaling over $117,702 across 22 different agencies, boards and commissions, which are now diligently working to recover all funds. As a result of this important work, OBM will repeat this process monthly, work with agencies to review any payments identified as potential duplicates, and then recover funds.
The partnership between OBM and InnovateOhio will continue to make improvements to the analytical tools and expand to different payment types to improve overall efficiency and accountability. The results of this cutting-edge project will drive data-informed processes and yield cost-savings by stopping or recovering erroneous payments. Additional effectiveness elements include: identification of common errors and root cause analysis, consistent accounting practices, and process re-engineering.
“The InnovateOhio platform and the technology tools we are building enable us to problem solve in ways that were inefficient or impossible in the past,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “We are now able to work to recover this money, and in the future, we can avoid misspending these tax dollars, which would have previously gone unnoticed.”
“The experts at OBM and InnovateOhio teamed up to deliver efficiency and effectiveness in state government and this test case proved that InnovateOhio tools deliver real savings to Ohio taxpayers,” said Kim Murnieks, Director of OBM.
As previously promised by the administration, OBM also announced that their website has been reengineered using InnovateOhio’s Platform tools and accelerators, making the site more user-friendly and their resources more easily accessible to the general public.