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National Debt

GAO Finds Duplicative Waste In Federal Government

  • March 08, 2011

    This week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing duplicative and redundant efforts in our Federal Government. Sadly, this report doesn’t come as a surprise. When Ronald Reagan was President, there was a similar report issued detailing wasted taxpayer dollars. Congress failed to act on the results of that study. Let’s hope they don’t let us down again. Our elected officials in the House of Representatives have already cut billions from the budget. To create a truly effective and efficient government, they’ll have to head the GAO’s report and end these redundant activities including 80 different economic development programs across several agencies and departments, 82 programs that deal with teacher quality, spread across multiple agencies and the 56 programs dealing with financial literacy. Voters have called for a more efficient government, the GAO has provided us with a good starting place.

    The list of findings from the GAO’s report is below:

    1. Food safety: 15 agencies are involved in implementing numerous federal laws.
    2. Defense: Numerous redundancies in the purchasing of tactical wheeled vehicles, procurement, and medical costs.
    3. Economic development: 80 different programs spread across numerous agencies, often with similar goals.
    4. Surface transportation: More than 100 programs run by five divisions within the Department of Transportation deal with surface transportation.
    5. Energy: Eliminating duplicative federal efforts to increase ethanol production could save $5.7 billion each year.
    6. Government information technology: 24 federal agencies deal with information technology.
    7. Health: The Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs could work together – instead of separately – to modernize their electronic health records systems.
    8. Homelessness: More than 20 federal programs deal with homelessness.
    9. Transportation Security Administration: Assessments of commercial trucking overlap with another federal agency.
    10. Teachers: 82 programs that deal with teacher quality, spread across multiple agencies.
    11. Financial literacy: 56 programs dealing with financial literacy.
    12. Job training: 44 employment and training programs.


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