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Collage showing images with one-word descriptors from the U S P T O Fiscal Year 2009 Performance and Accountability Report cover that reinforces the report’s tagline of Today’s Challenges – Tomorrow’s Solutions.
Performance and Accountability Report Fiscal Year 2009
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Table of Contents | Management | Financial | Auditor | IG | Other

Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA) Reporting Details

During FY 2009, the USPTO did not have any erroneous payments that exceeded the ten million dollar threshold. The USPTO continuously seeks to identify overpayments and erroneous payments by reviewing (1) credit memos and refund checks issued by vendors or customers and (2) undelivered electronic payments returned by financial institutions.

In FY 2008, the USPTO participated in the DOC Consolidated Risk Assessment. The USPTO was assessed as low risk in all categories: Program/Activity Inherent Risk, Program/Activity Specific Risk Factors, Corporate Control Environment, and Procurement Management Functions.

Improper Payment Reduction Outlook (Dollars in Millions)
Program FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012
Outlays Improper Payment Percent Improper Payment Dollars Outlays Improper Payment Percent Improper Payment Dollars Estimated Outlays Improper Payment Percent Improper Payment Dollars Estimated Outlays Improper Payment Percent Improper Payment Dollars Estimated Outlays Improper Payment Percent Improper Payment Dollars
Patent $1,634 0.30% $4.88 $1,749 0.03% $0.52 $1,652 0.01% $0.17 $1,697 0.01% $0.17 $1,746 0.01% $0.17
Trademark    190 0.30%  0.57    192 0.03%  0.06    183 0.01%  0.02    188 0.01%  0.02    193 0.01%  0.02
Intellectual Property     44 0.30%  0.13     43 0.03%  0.01     42 0.01%  0.00     43 0.01%  0.00     44 0.01%  0.01
single underline
Total $1,868 0.30% $5.58 $1,984 0.03% $0.60 $1,877 0.01% $0.19 $1,928 0.01% $0.19 $1,984 0.01% $0.20
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During FY 2005, the USPTO entered into an agreement with the DOC to use an existing contract for recovery audit services. The audit was limited to closed obligations greater than $0.1 million. Further excluded were grants, travel payments, purchase card transactions, inter-agency agreements, government bills of lading, and gift and bequest transactions.

The audit was completed in FY 2006 and resulted in three invoices that were identified as recoverable improper payments, which are insignificant. The improper payments identified of $0.1 million were recovered during FY 2006. No recovery audit services were conducted during FY 2007, FY 2008, or FY 2009.

Summary of Recovery Audit Effort (Dollars in Millions)
Amount subject to review $159.4
Number of invoices  4,433
Actual amount reviewed $107.3
Number of invoices    985

During FY 2008, the USPTO initiated an internal recovery audit program. Under this program, a letter similar to that sent by our recovery audit contractor is sent to vendors on a rotational basis. There were no items identified as recoverable. This program excludes grants, travel payment, purchase card transactions, inter-agency agreements, government bills of lading, and gift and bequest transactions. This program continued through FY 2009.

In FY 2009, the USPTO continued its reporting procedures to senior management and to the DOC on improper payments, identifying the nature and magnitude of any improper payments, along with any necessary control enhancements to prevent further occurrences of the types of improper payments identified.

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