VBA Data Quality Remediation and Fraud Prevention
In support of Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) broad initiatives to modernize its information systems and to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse within the administration’s programs, ERPi has been tasked with two missions: to assess and remediate the quality of VBA’s data systems, and to identify and prevent fraud committed against VBA beneficiaries and the agency itself. Recently, VBA has identified inaccuracies in its data stores, including the existence of incomplete or duplicate records, and fraudulent behaviors, namely third-party identity theft. Both negatively impact Veterans receiving the benefits they need and deserve, and remediation is a top priority to VBA.
ERPi, along with its teaming partners, has developed and implemented creative, innovative solutions to some of the most pressing data quality and fraud issues VBA faces. Key successes include the development of a statistical framework by which VBA can accurately identify and monitor potential issues afflicting its data stores; creation of processes by which VBA can identify and remediate record mismatches across its different data storage systems; and implementation of a complex model proven to identify instances of third-party fraud committed by identity theft and account hijacking. As a consultant, I work with the project’s analytics team, and primarily build the models and tools used to assess VBA’s data quality and to identify fraud. Between supporting a cause of such great importance and developing innovative data analysis and business process solutions, this initiative makes for very exciting work.
Why This Work Matters
After just a short time on this project, I could see the direct impact our work has had on Veterans. We have helped identify numerous cases of third-party fraud, including many cases in which we could notify VBA and repay the Veteran before he or she noticed that a benefit payment had gone missing. As we continue to expand and improve upon our work, fewer Veterans find themselves missing a benefit payment, reducing Veteran hardships, and improving Veterans’ experiences with VBA.
Making a Difference
In one noteworthy case, our team identified that a third-party fraudster was falsely redirecting the then-oldest living Veteran’s benefit payments. The Veteran was unaware that his benefit payments were missing, and was particularly appreciative of VBA and the team’s efforts to remediate the situation. It is rewarding experiences such as these that remind me and the whole team of the very important service we provide to our Veterans, and of the difference we are making.