U.S. Reps. Richard Hanna (NY-24) and Bill Owens (NY-23) highlighted today the second annual report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identifying government programs found to be duplicative, unnecessary or inefficient. Hanna and Owens used the report as an opportunity to continue to underscore the need to streamline government programs to reduce the federal debt and deficit. The GAO report was released yesterday, February 28, 2012.
"Over past 14 months the conversation in Washington has changed from how much more to spend, to how many savings we can find for taxpayers," Hanna said. "The House is committed to cutting waste out of the federal budget. Upstate New Yorkers deserve to know that government is working for them--efficiently--so that they can keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars. I will continue to identify unnecessary expenditures and propose commonsense solutions so that taxpayers realize the savings."
"Identifying these inefficiencies is the first step toward eliminating them," Owens said. "As we continue to work to put our fiscal house in order, we must not overlook commonsense ways to streamline the federal government and reduce spending to better serve the taxpayer. For more than a year, I have pointed to these kind of cuts as something we can all agree on to reach the GOP House Leadership's goal of a two-to-three percent reduction in spending."
The report finds 51 areas that displayed evidence of duplication, overlap, or fragmentation among federal government programs. The GAO reports that agencies can cut costs, improve service, and decrease administrative burden by addressing the issues listed in these reports. These benefits can be realized by consolidating programs, collaborating among agencies, reducing facilities, or cutting activities.
This is GAO's second annual report to Congress identifying government overlap. On March 1, 2011, the GAO released its first report, which identified 81 opportunities to reduce potential duplication and save tax dollars. Although GAO did not put a total price tag on the savings it identified in the report, it has been estimated that at least $100 billion in savings might be realized, according to the New York Times. On the heels of the 2011 GAO report, Owens and Hanna wrote to President Barack Obama to call attention to its findings.