GAO report says federal government agencies riddled with duplication and waste

  • Share
  • Bookmark to Delicious
  • Bookmark to StumbleUpon
  • 1 comment

A report released Tuesday by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office claims Washington “could potentially save billions of taxpayer dollars annually” by “reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation” in federal government programs.

The GAO report was mandated last year as a provision in a bill that raised the federal debt ceiling.

The GAO report blast the federal government for its inefficiency and duplication of programs.

“This report confirms what most Americans assume about their government. We are spending trillions of dollars every year and nobody knows what we are doing. The executive branch doesn’t know. The congressional branch doesn’t know. Nobody knows,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said in a statement Tuesday morning. “This report also shows we could save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars every year without cutting services.”

Coburn, who pushed for the report, estimated that duplicative spending could save between $100 and $200 billion each year.

“Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap or fragmentation could potentially save billions of taxpayer dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services,” according to the report.

According to

The study found 33 areas with “overlap and fragmentation” in the federal government. Among them, it found:

— Fifty-six programs across 20 agencies dealing with financial literacy.

— More than 2,100 data centers — up from 432 a little more than a decade ago — across 24 federal agencies. GAO estimated the government could save up to $200 billion over the next decade by consolidating them.

— Twenty programs across seven agencies dealing with homelessness. The report found $2.9 billion spent on the programs in 2009. “Congress is often to blame” for fragmentation, GAO wrote in this section, explaining that the duplicative programs in multiple agencies cause access problems for potential participants.

— Eighty-two “distinct” teacher-quality programs across 10 agencies. Many of them have “duplicate sub-goals,” GAO said. Nine of them address teacher quality in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

— Fifteen agencies administering 30 food-related laws. “Some of the oversight doesn’t make any sense,” the report stated bluntly.

— Eighty economic development programs.

The report also suggested that cuts could be warranted in the military, and area which has traditionally been off-limits to lawmakers from both parties. It pointed out there  are 130,000 military and government medical professionals, 59 Defense Department hospitals and hundreds of clinics that could be consolidated, resulting in savings in administrative, management and clinical areas.

Information from

  • expose this
  • Share
  • Bookmark to Delicious
  • Bookmark to StumbleUpon
  • 1 comment
Comment (1)
  1. JoAnn Blake says:

    There are 15 federal agencies charged with food safety, I heard on the news last night.

Comment on this Article:

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.