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Annual Report on Government Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication Flags Billions of Dollars in Potential Savings

Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2022) – The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued its 12th annual report identifying opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication across the federal government and potentially save billions of dollars. The new report outlines 94 new corrective measures in 21 new and nine existing areas that Congress and the Administration could take to save money and improve efficiency in government programs and activities. 

“GAO’s continuing work on fragmentation, overlap, and duplication has helped focus congressional and agency attention on a number of inefficient or wasteful practices throughout government,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO.  “Our latest annual report provides a list of targeted actions that could potentially save billions of dollars and significantly enhance revenues.”

Notable suggestions in the latest report include the following: 

  • The Energy Department could pursue less expensive disposal options for nuclear and hazardous waste, such as immobilizing waste in grout, which could help save tens of billions of dollars.
  • Contracting officials at federal agencies should use metrics measuring cost reduction or avoidance to improve the performance of their procurement organizations, a move with the potential to save billions of dollars annually.
  • Congress should consider directing the Department of Health and Human Services to further reduce payments to skilled nursing facilities with high rates of potentially preventable hospital readmissions and emergency room visits, potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicare costs.
  • The Internal Revenue Service could improve taxpayer service and better manage refund interest payments, potentially saving $20 million or more each year, by establishing a mechanism to identify, monitor, and mitigate issues contributing to refund interest payments.
  • The Social Security Administration could potentially save millions of dollars by identifying and addressing the causes of overpayments to disability beneficiaries in its Ticket to Work program.
  • The Defense Department could improve various administrative services, such as by addressing fragmentation in its food program and strengthening ongoing initiatives to reduce improper defense travel payments, potentially savings millions of dollars.

Although significant work still remains, Congress and executive branch agencies have made strides in addressing many of the 1,299 actions that GAO proposed from 2011 to 2022 to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve the effectiveness of agency operations.  These efforts have yielded approximately $552 billion in financial benefits, an increase of $35 billion from GAO’s last report on fragmentation, overlap, and duplication.

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.

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


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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New “Fiscal Health” Report Urges Long-Term Strategy to Help Address the Nation’s Growing Fiscal Challenges


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