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Statement of Sen. Warner on GAO's Report on Program Duplication


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement on today's report by the Government Accountability Office, which cited specific examples of duplication, overlap and other inefficiencies in programs administered across the federal government. The report identified an additional 31 areas where agencies could achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness, and identified 81 specific actions to reduce overlapping, duplicative and inefficient federal spending.

Sen. Warner, a member of the Budget Committee and Chairman of its bipartisan Performance Task Force in the last Congress, was a lead sponsor of the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010, which seeks to save tax dollars and promote accountability by requiring clear, transparent program goals and performance measurements. Sen. Warner also has worked to reduce unnecessary and outdated regulations and federal reporting requirements.

"Improving government efficiency and requiring performance metrics is not headline-grabbing stuff, but this is very important work that ultimately will save significant tax dollars. For instance, this GAO report points out that we have 10 or more agencies contributing to some of the same policy functions, and I'm concerned about the lack of coordination among those agencies. I also was surprised to see that of the 76 drug abuse prevention and treatment programs that GAO identified, 40% admitted that they have not coordinated with the other agencies in the past year.

"We need a more collaborative culture in the federal government. These silos must be broken down.

"As GAO pointed out, we cannot begin to seriously address this duplication until we have a comprehensive list of all federal programs. We required that this list be developed in the GPRA Modernization Act, and we are still waiting for it. We need to see how many programs we have in each policy area, which are the most effective, and how much funding each program receives.

I've been pushing for legislation to address the gaps in financial data, and this will allow us to better address overlap and duplication. I intend to reintroduce The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) to require consistent financial data standards so we can more fully track the costs of these programs. Policy makers and taxpayers should be able to easily review the full cycle of federal spending."

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