Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its annual report addressing duplication and areas for costs savings throughout the federal government. Read the full report by clicking here.
- Dr. Coburn's prepared testimony at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: here. Highlights of the testimony: here.
- An appendix of the testimony: here.
- An Executive Summary of the 2012 GAO report: here.
- Executive Summary of the Report Card on 2011 GAO duplication report: here.
- Chart detailing 2012 GAO report cost savings: here.
- A 1966 article highlighting the proliferation of duplicative federal programs titled, "Government by Totem Pole: As federal programs proliferate and duplicate we're fast becoming The Overlapped Society".
The report reviews 51 areas of government spending, including 32 areas of extensive federal duplication, fragmentation and overlap, and 19 additional areas of opportunities for large cost savings.
Like last year’s report, which identified more than $100 billion in savings by eliminating duplicative programs, today’s findings are a testament to failed congressional efforts of oversight and a reminder Congress continues to shirk its duty to address even blatant areas of waste and mismanagement of taxpayer funding.
According to GAO Director Dodaro, “This report identifies government duplication, overlap, and fragmentation as well as other cost savings and revenue enhancement opportunities. Its findings involve a wide range of government missions and touch virtually all major federal departments and agencies.”
EXAMPLES FROM THE 2012 GAO DUPLICATION REPORT:
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education.
There are 209 federal STEM education programs, administered by 13 different federal agencies, costing taxpayers more than $3 billion annually.
Department of Justice Grants
Since 2005, Congress has spent $30 billion in overlapping Department of Justice grants for crime prevention police and victims services from more than 200 DOJ grant programs, and $3.9 billion in grants just in 2010.
GAO exposes there are “20 different entities administer 160 programs, tax expenditures, and other tools,” that support homeowners and renters.” In addition, there are 39 programs, tax expenditures, and other tools provide assistance for buying, selling or financing a home, and eight programs and tax expenditures provide assistance for rental property owners.
Support to Private Sector on Green Buildings
There are 94 federal initiatives to encourage “green building” in the private sector, run by 11 federal agencies.
There are 14 programs and three tax expenditures that sole or joint purpose is to reduce diesel emissions.
GAO’S REPORT CARD ON WASHINGTON
Today GAO also released a report card on Washington, detailing action taken and not taken by Congress and the Executive Branch, on the recommendations included in last year’s first annual GAO duplication report.
The GAO found Congress has refused to enact 60 percent of the recommendations it was given by GAO, while the Executive Branch has not addressed 63 percent of the recommendations GAO directed to it. Meanwhile, Congress has only fully implemented 4 (13%) of the recommendations it was given by GAO, and the Executive Branch fully addressed 19 (13%) of its recommendations.
Combined, Washington fully addressed only four of the 81 areas identified by GAO, representing a mere five percent. Meanwhile, Congress and the Executive Branch completely ignored 21 percent of the areas in desperate need of reform, as outlined by GAO.
Areas “partially addressed” in truth, have not been fixed at all and taxpayers have realized little to no savings from these beginning steps. In short, 153 specific recommendations, 87 percent, made by GAO last year have not been fully implemented.
GAO's findings reinforce the fact that more government is not always the solution and gives us a picture of what happens to the federal budget when the government continues to grow, and spend, out of control.
As part of my own efforts to address duplication throughout the federal budget, in July 2011, I released Back in Black, a comprehensive deficit reduction plan scrutinizing every corner of the federal budget for savings. Back in Black listed hundreds of specific proposals which together would eliminate more than $9 trillion of deficit spending over ten years.