WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had this to say regarding the Government Accountability Office’s sixth annual report detailing unnecessary duplication in the federal government.
This year’s report identified 37 areas of duplication, fragmentation, overlap and cost savings that could result in billions of dollars in savings over the next five years. The GAO estimates that congressional and executive branch actions on their recommendations has already saved approximately $56 billion and will realize an additional $69 billion in savings over the next 10 years.
“Tens of billions in savings for taxpayers has already been realized as the result of former Senator Coburn’s amendment requiring the GAO to issue its duplication reports,” said Johnson. “Total savings exceed $100 billion after fully implementing only 41 percent of the GAO’s recommendations. This report highlights how important it is for the administration to take the GAO’s remaining recommendations seriously. Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying the price for Washington’s wasteful duplication.”
The GAO’s 2016 duplication report includes 92 new recommendations for congressional and executive branch actions. Highlights from the report include:
- Duplicative federal spending on health insurance coverage for Medicaid and subsidies for exchanges created under Obamacare.
- Nine different federal and state agencies regulating financial institutions resulting in a regulatory structure that does not ensure “efficient and effective oversight, … consistent financial oversight, and … consistent consumer and investor protections.”
- Nine public referral programs at the IRS that could “collect billions of dollars in tax underpayments” if they were streamlined and better managed.
- Overpayments by the Social Security Administration to federal employees also receiving Federal Employment Compensation Act compensation for work-related injuries. While duplicative payments are allowed as long as they don’t exceed a certain amount, the Social Security Administration made an estimated $371.5 million in overpayments during 2013 alone.