Press Release Annual Report on Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication Identifies Billions of Dollars in Potential Savings across the Federal Government

Washington, D.C. (May 12, 2021) – The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued its 11th annual report highlighting opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in the federal government. The 2021 report contains 112 new actions that Congress and the Administration could take to save money and improve efficiency across a wide range of government programs and activities. 

“For more than a decade, GAO’s efforts to identify fragmentation, overlap, and duplication have helped policymakers address inefficient or wasteful practices across the federal government,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO.  “Our latest annual report provides lawmakers and agency officials with a far-reaching list of targeted measures with the potential to save billions of dollars and significantly boost revenues.”

From 2011 to 2021, GAO identified more than 1,100 actions to reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve agencies' operating effectiveness. GAO’s May 2020 report stated progress made in addressing many of the actions identified from 2011 to 2019 had resulted in approximately $429 billion in financial benefits, including $393 billion that accrued through 2019 and $36 billion that was projected to accrue in future years.

The status of GAO’s proposed changes can be followed on its Action Tracker, an online tool that monitors progress by Congress and federal agencies.  Notable suggestions in the latest report include the following: 

  • The Office of Management and Budget should improve how agencies buy common goods and services—such as medical supplies and computers—by addressing data management challenges and establishing performance metrics. These actions could help save billions of dollars over the next five years and potentially eliminate duplicative contracts.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could enhance third-party information reporting to increase compliance with tax laws and raise revenue, an important step in reducing the tax gap. GAO has also previously suggested 1) providing IRS with authority to correct certain errors in tax returns and 2) establishing requirements for paid tax return preparers to help improve the accuracy of tax returns.
  • By implementing cost savings programs, the National Nuclear Security Administration could run its nuclear laboratory and production sites more efficiently and save hundreds of millions of dollars over roughly five years. 
  • The Department of Defense’s payments to privatized housing projects have lessened the financial effects of the housing allowance rate reductions for these projects, but revising the calculation for these payments could save millions of dollars annually.    
  • Federal agencies could better coordinate fragmented cybersecurity requirements and related assessment programs for state agencies, potentially minimizing the burden on states and trimming millions of dollars in associated federal and state costs.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services could improve coordination of its infectious disease modeling efforts to better identify duplication and overlap among agencies, a move that could enhance the federal government’s ability to plan for and respond to disease outbreaks.

For more information, contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of GAO Public Affairs at youngc1@gao.gov or 202-512-4800.

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The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.

 

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GAO Makes MACPAC Appointments, Designates Chair and Vice Chair

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2021) — Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of five new members to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).  He also named the Commission’s Chair and Vice Chair and reappointed two members.