Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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Duplicative federal programs under the microscope

We despise the word “humongous” almost more than the word “ginormous.’

However, the Government Accountability Office, you may have heard, has released a humongous report called “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue.”

The 345-page document is GAO’s “first annual report to Congress in response to a new statutory requirement that GAO identify federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives, either within departments or governmentwide, which have duplicative goals or activities.”

And identify them, it does, finding “duplication, overlap, or fragmentation” within and across agencies. Redundant missions, services and objectives. And so on.

The report identifies 34 areas of potential duplication and fragmentation, and 47 others where savings could be reaped or revenues boosted. If Congress acts on only a portion of the recommendations in the report, it will mean billions in savings. And a certain amount of shaking out where duplications are eliminated

If you are feeling ambitious, and perhaps brave, it’s (relatively) easy to search for your very own federal program in the html (“Accessible Text”) version on the GAO site …

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Mar 01, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Fri, Mar 4, 2011

I'll believe it when I see it. Every 5-7 years or so, another 'blue ribbon' commission is established to Come Up With A Plan To Straighten Out The Government. I've been here 30 years. I've never seen one actually implemented yet. I still have a copy of the Grace Commission report on my shelf, to remind me to not get my hopes up.

Thu, Mar 3, 2011

So why is Congress and the Administration not trying to trim the deficit with findings such as these instead of threatening the pay and benefits of federal employees. Are the taxpayers as aware of what's in this report? It's so much easier for Congress to let them believe the problems can be resolved by taking from the federal workforce.

Wed, Mar 2, 2011

Yeah so another few hundred thousand spent on another report. Hasn't anyone heard that management by committee is the nations humongous failure?
For one example, suppose you are a retailer that wants to sell cigarettes, take a look at the ATF site for the first set of requirements and laws, then migrate over to the FDA site for more paperwork for the same thing, then off to your particular state for even more regulatory nonsense.
It's that way for everything, from apples to Zambonies. You call this freedom?

Wed, Mar 2, 2011 John Orlando, Fl

We the taxpayers can only hope that they will take action to end all of the duplication!

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