How to Save (A Lot More Than) A Billion—Reducing Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication in Government Programs

Posted on April 26, 2017
Today we released our latest report on fragmentation, overlap, and duplication among federal programs. Since 2011, we’ve been reporting on ways the government can be more efficient and save taxpayer money by looking for programs that
  • work on different parts of the same goal or are broken out across different parts of the same agency (fragmentation)
  • have similar goals or provide similar services (overlap)
  • work on the same activities or provide the same services (duplication)
These are programs that are fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative. By addressing actions we've proposed to fix such programs, the federal government has saved an estimated $136 billion so far. And each year we find more ways to save. In this 7th annual report we’ve added 79 new actions in 29 new areas across the government, such as health, defense, homeland security, and international affairs. If Congress or executive branch agencies take these actions, it could save the federal government tens of billions more. Check out the infographic below for key actions in this year’s report or listen to Jessica Lucas-Judy, a director in our Strategic Issues team, talk about 2017’s updates:
2017 Duplication and Cost Savings Report
We also keep tabs on agencies to track the status of past actions we’ve recommended—and there’s a lot they could still do. For example:
  • Federal agencies could save billions by using strategic sourcing to procure goods and services—for example, leveraging the government’s buying power to get better deals on everything from office supplies to laptops
  • The Internal Revenue Service could save billions of dollars by helping to prevent identity theft refund fraud
Curious what remains to be done? You can download our complete Action Tracker and sort by agency or area to see for yourself. Infographic on duplication, overlap and fragmentation in the federal government