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Government Efficiency and Effectiveness: Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions of Dollars in Financial Benefits

GAO-23-106864 Published: Jun 14, 2023. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2023.
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Fast Facts

Each year, GAO reports on federal programs with fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative goals or actions, and we have suggested hundreds of ways to address those problems, reduce costs, or boost revenue. This testimony discusses our 13th annual report, in which we identified 100 new matters for congressional consideration and recommendations to agencies to help address these findings.

Congressional and agency action in these areas has yielded about $600 billion in cost savings and revenue increases. Addressing remaining matters and recommendations could save tens of billions more dollars and improve government services.

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What GAO Found

GAO's 2023 annual report identifies 100 new matters for congressional consideration and recommendations to federal agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government. For example:

  • Congress should reauthorize the First Responder Network Authority by 2027 to ensure the continuity of the public-safety broadband network and collection of potential revenues of billions of dollars over 15 years.
  • The Office of Personnel Management could save hundreds of millions of dollars or more annually by identifying and removing ineligible family members from the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.
  • Responsible federal offices need a national broadband internet access strategy and should address any key statutory limitations to better manage fragmented efforts across 15 federal agencies and more than 130 programs, and to address overlap and potential duplication.

Congress and federal agencies have addressed many of the 1,885 matters and recommendations that GAO identified from 2011 to 2023 to reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve agencies' operating effectiveness, although work remains to fully address them. These efforts have resulted in about $600 billion in financial benefits, an increase of $46.8 billion from GAO's May 2022 report.

To achieve these benefits, as of April 2023, Congress and agencies had fully addressed 1,239 (about 66 percent) of the 1,885 matters and recommendations and partially addressed 144 (about 8 percent). However, further steps are needed to fully address the 527 matters and recommendations GAO identified in its 2011 to 2023 annual reports that remain open.

GAO estimates that by fully addressing these, tens of billions of additional dollars and improved government services could be achieved. For example, Congress should consider directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to equalize payment rates between settings for evaluation and management office visits and other services that the Secretary deems appropriate, which could save $141 billion over 10 years.

Why GAO Did This Study

GAO issues annual reports on federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives—either within departments or government-wide—that have duplicative goals or activities. As part of this work, GAO also identifies additional opportunities for greater efficiency and effectiveness that could result in cost savings or enhanced revenue collection.

The June 2023 report, GAO-23-106089, discusses new opportunities for achieving billions of dollars in financial savings and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a wide range of federal programs. It also assesses the implementation status of matters for congressional consideration and recommendations to federal agencies related to the duplication and cost savings body of work.

In addition, the June report provides examples of open matters and recommendations where further implementation steps could yield significant financial and other (non-financial) benefits.

This statement discusses:

  • new topic areas identified in GAO's 2023 annual report;
  • the benefits Congress and executive branch agencies have achieved in addressing many of the matters and recommendations GAO has identified since 2011; and
  • examples of open matters and recommendations that could yield significant financial and other benefits.

For more information, contact Jessica Lucas-Judy at (202) 512-6806 or or Michelle Sager at (202) 512-6806 or

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