Citizens Against Government Waste Highlights GAO Duplication Report

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

April 26, 2018
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) highlighted the release of the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) eighth annual report on, “Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits.” 

CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement:

“GAO’s annual duplication report is a unique and highly effective tool in combatting government waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  The report should be used as the playbook for cutting the federal bureaucracy down to size.  We thank the GAO for its work and hope that Congress and the executive branch will continue to act on these recommendations as expeditiously as they can.”

Highlights:

  • The purpose of this GAO annual report is to, “identify and report to Congress on federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives—either within departments or governmentwide—that have duplicative goals or activities.”
  • Since 2011, GAO has made 798 recommendations for Congress and the executive branch in these annual reports.
  • Since 2011, taxpayers have saved $178 billion through the implementation of GAO’s recommendations.
  • The 2018 report makes, “68 new actions that Congress or executive branch agencies could take across 23 areas.”
  • As of March 2018, 41 percent of GAO’s recommendations to Congress and the Executive branch have not been fully addressed.

Examples:

  • Efforts to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education are fragmented across 163 programs across 13 different agencies that spent $2.9 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2016.  Many of these programs are fragmented and overlapping.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard operates 190 multimission boat stations, many of which, “provide unnecessarily duplicative search and rescue coverage.”  Eliminating these duplicative stations could save taxpayers millions.
  • The inspection of imported seafood is fragmented between the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, which is responsible for catfish inspection, and the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for all other seafood inspection.
  • The Department of Defense maintains 256 distribution centers, “to store and process goods such as clothing, food, medicine, and repair parts for weapon systems.”  Consolidating these duplicative centers could save $527 million over five years.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should create new safeguards to prevent improper payments through the Affordable Care Act’s Premium Tax Credit.
  • To stem the tide of identity theft and tax refund fraud, the IRS should exercise its authority to hold refunds until they are verified, which would protect millions of taxpayer dollars.
  • GAO renewed its call on the 20 agencies that have yet to complete software application inventories to do so immediately, which could save billions of dollars. 

 

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. 

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