Apr 09 2013
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.