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GAO’s 2016 Performance and Accountability Report—Over $63 Billion in Financial Benefits

Posted on November 15, 2016

Once a year we like to share the results of our work with you, the taxpayer. This year our audit work produced over $63 billion in financial benefits. In other words, for every $1 Congress invested in us, we returned $112.

And we don’t just work to save you money—we work to improve government effectiveness. This year, we recommended more than 1,200 ways that the federal government could improve operations. How? Among other things, by prompting federal agencies to better:

  • protect U.S. diplomatic personnel and their families overseas
  • prepare for domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attacks, and
  • prevent payment errors in Medicare.

Our reviews and investigations touched on a wide range of federal programs—involving nearly every federal agency—and our experts were called upon to testify before Congress over 100 times.

But money talks—so back to dollars and cents. In this year’s report, we’re happy to share that our recommendations helped:

  • reduce Medicare Advantage’s payment errors by about $21.4 billion between 2010 and 2014
  • reduce Veterans’ Affairs procurement costs by about $3.6 billion between 2013 and 2015, and
  • improve how DOD estimates its fuel costs and reduce expenses by about $2.3 billion.

Our 2016 Performance and Accountability Report has the full details on what we accomplished in the past fiscal year, information on how we calculate results and find savings, and what’s on the horizon for next year.


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GAO's mission is to provide Congress with fact-based, nonpartisan information that can help improve federal government performance and ensure accountability for the benefit of the American people. GAO launched its WatchBlog in January, 2014, as part of its continuing effort to reach its audiences—Congress and the American people—where they are currently looking for information.

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