Congressman James Lankford (R-OK), member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, took part today in a full committee hearing entitled "Government 2.0: GAO Unveils New Duplicative Program Report." The hearing explored the second annual report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that identifies duplicative activities within federal programs, agencies, offices and initiatives.
Witnesses present at today's hearing included Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States at the Government Accountability Office, and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).
This year's report uncovered 32 new areas of federal waste, duplication and inefficiency. GAO analyzed and found duplication in nearly a thousand individual programs with an estimated cost to the taxpayer of over $300 billion. This figure comes on top of more than $100 billion in duplication, overlap and fragmentation found in last year's report.
"While not all-inclusive, GAO's report reveals that duplication and overlap run rampant through the hallways of our nation's complex maze of bureaucracy," said Congressman Lankford. "By releasing its second annual report, GAO has presented policy makers in Washington with an extensive menu of options to reduce waste and duplication and ultimately saving billions for taxpayers. It is now incumbent upon members in both chambers of Congress to act upon these recommendations."
Today's hearing builds on a recent proposal introduced by Senator Coburn and Congressman Lankford, H.R. 3609, the Taxpayers Right to Know Act. This legislation would require every federal agency to provide taxpayers with an annual "report card' for all of its programs. Each program would be identified and described to provide the total administrative costs, expenditures for service, number of beneficiaries and number of staff involved in administration. The Taxpayers Right to Know Act also forces each agency to list all their programs.
"Taxpayers deserve the maximum level of accountability for the money they send to Washington each year," said Congressman Lankford. "This bill will demonstrate to the American people that Congress is actually serious about protecting taxpayer dollars from the waste and duplication inherent in government."