This testimony discusses the U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) budget request for fiscal year 2012. In fiscal year 2010, GAO provided assistance to every standing congressional committee and 70 percent of their subcommittees. Our work yielded significant results across the government, including financial benefits of $49.9 billion--a return on investment of $87 for every dollar invested in GAO. In addition, we documented over 1,300 other benefits resulting from our work that helped improve services to the public, promote improved management throughout government and change laws, such as the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010. Recently, we issued two major reports that underscore GAO's continuing value in helping Congress and the Administration reduce costs and improve government, particularly in a time of reduced resources. First, on March 1, 2011, we detailed 81 opportunities to reduce duplication, overlap, or fragmentation. These opportunities span a range of federal government mission areas such as agriculture, defense, economic development, energy, general government, health, homeland security, international affairs, and social services. Within and across these missions, our report touches on hundreds of federal programs, affecting virtually all major federal departments and agencies. By reducing or eliminating unnecessary duplication, overlap, or fragmentation and by addressing the other cost-saving and revenue-enhancing opportunities contained in the report, the federal government could save tens of billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services. Second, our High Risk update issued on February 17, 2011 identified 30 federal areas and programs at risk of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, and those in need of broad-based transformation. Solutions to high-risk problems offer the potential to save billions of dollars, dramatically improve service to the public, and strengthen confidence and trust in the performance and accountability of the U.S. Government.
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