My five years at the US GAO were foundational for my future work. I served on the Forensic Audits in Investigative Service (FAIS) team, which is primarily dedicated to using innovative data collection and analysis techniques to identify fraud, waste, and abuse in government programs. The team was also charged with identifying internal control failures and gaps and making recommendations to executive branch agencies to prevent future abuse and recoup lost money and resources. Some of my favorite engagements that I worked on are described below.
Data mining to identify vulnerabilities in availability of controlled drugs
I led the initial engagement to identify vulnerabilities that can lead to the diversion of controlled drugs by conducting analysis of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) data. My chief goal was to identify individuals licensed to prescribe controlled substances who are at a high risk of committing fraud and abuse. For example, active prescribers were found who were dead, incarcerated for drug-related felonies, listed in sex offender registries, and whose identities could not be verified.
Data Analytics for Oversight forum and community
I convened national data analytics experts from federal, state, and local agencies, as well as the private sector, for discussions on identifying challenges and devising solutions regarding the use of data analytics while protecting citizen privacy in government evaluation and oversight.
As part of this work, we also founded the Government Data Sharing Community of Practice, a series of public discussions on challenges and opportunities related to sharing data in government.
Analytics and statistical modeling to identify fraud in disability insurance claims
I served on a team that identified $1.3 billion in improper disability payments using data mining and statistical models and made recommendations to enhance eligibility screening.
Data mining to uncover fraud in government mortgage programs
With my team, I performed data mining to uncover $1.4 billion in improper mortgages to ineligible borrowers and made recommendations to prevent future occurrences, resulting in policy changes to enhanced eligibility screening.
Improving benefits processes for veterans
I co-designed designed and deployed a program review and quantitative survey of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs staff and used the results to make policy recommendations that were implemented to improve disability benefits processes.