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Apr 09 2013

Duplication Nation: New Report Finds $95 Billion in Waste and Duplication

Total Savings More than Enough to Cover Costs of Sequestration

Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its third annual report exposing unnecessary duplication and overlapping programs throughout the federal government, revealing 17 areas of government duplication and 14 areas of potential cost savings.  Total, this report outlines more than $95 in potential savings from duplicative programs and inefficient practices-more than enough to offset the costs of sequestration.  

Examples from the 2013 Duplication Report

  • 679 renewable energy initiatives at 23 federal agencies and their 130 sub-agencies cost taxpayers $15 billion in FY 2010.
  • 76 programs to prevent or treat drug abuse are spread across 15 agencies, costing $4.5 billion in FY 2012.
  • Three federal offices are involved in overseeing catfish inspections.
  • 159 contracting organizations in 10 different Defense Department components provide defense foreign language support. GAO estimates $50 to $200 million in potential savings by eliminating this duplication.
  • The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) offers 69 different language services. GAO found 23 instances of overlap involving 43 of these services, accounting for $149 million, or nearly 20 percent, of the BBG’s FY 2011 annual appropriations.
  • 21 programs, including eight tax expenditures, are in place to help students save for, pay, and repay the cost of higher education, annually costing $45 billion, $104 billion in financial loans, and $25 billion in lost revenue from tax spending.
  • Six programs to employ and train veterans are operated by two government agencies, which spent $1.2 billion in FY 2011 to serve 880,000 participants.  The GAO found, “Despite these efforts, the unemployment rate for veterans who have recently separated from the military is higher than that for other veterans and nonveterans.”
  • The Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) was established in 1950 and tasked with collecting and distributing certain reports.  Despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of these reports are now available online for free, NTIS continues to charge the public, and even other federal agencies, for these reports.  Even more, 95 percent of those on other websites, were available for free.  Making the government looking even more foolish, GAO explains, “The source that most often had the reports GAO was searching for was another website located at http://www.Google.com.”
  • Six separate offices at the Department of Homeland Security are involved in research and development. In one example, “two DHS components awarded five separate contracts that each addressed detection of the same chemical. Moreover, DHS did not have the policies and mechanisms necessary to coordinate or track research and development activities across the department.”

2013 Duplication Report Executive Summary Available Here.

2013 Duplication Report Chart Available Here

Date Title
4/24/13 Dr. Coburn Offers Amendments to the Marketplace Fairness Act
4/24/13 Senators Coburn and Udall Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Duplication and Overlap of Federal Programs
4/24/13 Sequester This: Coburn Asks FAA to Address $1.2 Billion in Potential Savings Before Scapegoating Sequestration for Flight Delays
4/23/13 Burr, Coburn, Thune Introduce Public Employee Pension Transparency Act
4/18/13 Dr. Coburn Criticizes the FAA’s Decision to Furlough Air Traffic Controllers Instead of Making Smart Cuts
4/18/13 Change Medicare to Save Medicare
4/17/13 Coburn and Upton Issue Statement on FDA Opioid Drug Application Ruling
4/17/13 Dr. Coburn Files Amendment to Replace Manchin-Toomey
4/16/13 New GAO Report Calls for Improved Reporting of the Effectiveness of Training Programs for Federal Acquisition Personnel
4/16/13 GOP Senators Release White Paper on Health IT, Cite Concerns
4/16/13 Coburn Asks Treasury to Investigate Athletic Charitable Organizations
4/12/13 Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Thank DHS Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute For Her Service
4/12/13 Why I’m Fighting to Protect Gun Rights
4/12/13 Dr. Coburn Pens Letter to Senate Colleagues on Gun Control Legislation Files
4/11/13 Dr. Coburn’s Statement on Vote to Begin Debate on Second Amendment Issues
4/10/13 Dr. Coburn’s Statement on Manchin-Toomey Proposal
4/10/13 Coburn Statement on USPS Board of Governors Decision to Back Away From Modified Delivery
4/10/13 Duplication Nation: Dr. Coburn Urges Administration to Take Action on Findings from New GAO Report
4/9/13 Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Highlight Report Detailing Potentially Duplicative Government Programs and Wasteful Spending
4/9/13 Current record
4/8/13 Alexander, Burr, Johanns, Coburn, Cornyn Call on Obama Administration to Reexamine Plan to “Undermine Care” by Raising the Cost of In-home Companion Care
4/4/13 GAO Report Finds Overlap with Information-Sharing, Problems with Fusion Centers
4/3/13 Dr. Coburn Asks HUD to Prevent Improper Hurricane Sandy Payments After New Report Identifies $700 Million Misspent Post Katrina