Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
In March of 2011, I wroteabout a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that highlighted potentially redundant government programs and offered opportunities to save billions of dollars, without reducing services, through eliminating government overlap. A year later, GAO reportedon the progress made in eliminating potential duplication, overlap and fragmentation in the federal government and identified additional areas and actions that can be taken to further improve program effectiveness and efficiency. It is clear that eliminating federal government redundancies must be part of a broader effort by Congress and the Administration to get our national deficit and debt under control.
The annual reports, which were ordered by Congress through enactment of an amendment, which I supported, offered by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) to debt limit legislation, are meant to inform efforts to address fiscal pressures. In its 2012 progress report, GAO found that only 5 percent of the 81 areas GAO identified in 2011 were fully addressed. Further, the agency indicated that while some progress had been made, additional steps are needed.
GAO identified an additional 32 areas of duplication, overlap or fragmentation, meaning there were multiple agencies conducting programs or activities in the same area, and in some cases those programs were not well coordinated, and 19 more cost savings and revenue enhancement opportunities for the federal government including the following:
While in some instances the overlaps may be warranted, this report provides further reinforcement of the need to review federal programs and reduce the size of the federal government. As families and small businesses eliminate wasteful spending to ensure they can provide for necessities, the federal government must also eliminate redundancies as one element of getting our national deficit and debt under control. Our nation now faces a nearly $16 trillion national debt, which jumped more than $1 trillion since I wrote about the GAO report last year. As efforts continue to advance comprehensive solutions, this report provides meaningful recommendations to help get our nation's economy back on track through reducing government spending.
To directly link to this guest column, please use the following address: https://www.crapo.senate.gov/media/newsreleases/release_full.cfm?id=
# # #
Word Count: 527