GAO’s Duplication Report Reveals Mountain of Federal Mismanagement | Citizens Against Government Waste

GAO’s Duplication Report Reveals Mountain of Federal Mismanagement

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318
April 14, 2015 

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today reacted with dismay to the mountain of government waste described during Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro’s April 14 testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  The hearing was convened to review the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report on “Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits,” which updated taxpayers on the progress in addressing more than 440 prior GAO recommended actions to reduce duplication and overlap, as well as proposed 66 new executive and congressional actions that could improve efficiency and effectiveness.

While the GAO estimated that executive branch and congressional actions have resulted in roughly $20 billion in “financial benefits” from fiscal years (FY) 2011 through 2014, just 37 percent of GAO’s recommendations were classified as “fully addressed” as of March 6, 2015.  While some progress has been made, the enormous amount of remaining waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement overshadows those successes. 

GAO’s 2015 report contained several proposals that CAGW has trumpeted in Prime Cuts 2015, the organization’s annual compendium of waste-cutting recommendations, including the chronic mismanagement of federal software licenses.  GAO concluded, “The vast majority of agencies reviewed did not have adequate policies for managing software licenses.”  Addressing this deficiency could save millions of taxpayer dollars.

Medicare’s post-payment auditors are failing to adequately use the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Recovery Audit Data Warehouse.  The database is meant to help CMS’s auditors avoid duplicating one another’s efforts to investigate, eradicate, and recover funds related to the program’s staggering amount of improper payments, which reached, $46 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2014.

One of the most ridiculous examples of duplication in the 2015 report involves the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration inspecting the same laboratories.  After their collaborative agreement lapsed in 2004, they soon failed to communicate with one another, resulting in this completely avoidable situation. The agencies agreed, with some reservations, to start sharing information again in the future.

“The amount of waste stemming from fragmentation, overlap, and duplication is astounding.  The GAO provides a great service by annually compiling and highlighting this information,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.  “It is up to taxpayers everywhere to amplify this work and help to eliminate the waste, wherever it exists.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.


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