Program Consolidation:

Budgetary Implications and Other Issues

T-AIMD-95-145: Published: May 23, 1995. Publicly Released: May 23, 1995.

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GAO discussed federal program consolidation. GAO noted that: (1) program consolidations can increase efficiency and improve performance to the benefit of all program constituents; (2) many programs have similar and overlapping goals, target populations, and services; (3) program consolidations could reduce federal and nonfederal costs, improve administration and service delivery, and eliminate duplication and obsolescence; (4) prime candidates for consolidation include rural development programs, defense infrastructure, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, employment and training programs, food assistance programs, federal land management agencies, the Department of Energy's national laboratories, and education programs; (5) current consolidation proposals include funding cuts, but certain factors, such as personnel levels and transition costs, need to be considered when exploring budgetary savings; (6) accountability issues will be especially important for consolidated grant programs; (7) consolidation plans must provide for sufficient accountability provisions without precluding states' flexibility to gear programs to their needs; and (8) the federal government could provide for accountability through results-oriented program oversight.

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