Page 1 GAO-13-279SP 2013 Annual Report
United States Government Accountability Office Washington, DC 20548
April 9, 2013Congressional Addressees As the fiscal pressures facing the nation continue, so too does the needfor executive branch agencies and Congress to improve the efficiencyand effectiveness of government programs and activities. Opportunities totake such action exist in areas where federal programs or activities arefragmented, overlapping, or duplicative. To highlight these challenges andto inform government decision makers on actions that could be taken toaddress them, GAO is statutorily required to identify and report annuallyto Congress on federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives, either within departments or government-wide, that have duplicative goals or activities.
In light of today’s challenging fiscal environment, we have alsoidentified additional opportunities to achieve greater efficiency andeffectiveness by means of cost savings or enhanced revenue collection.In March 2011, we issued our first annual report in this series, whichpresented 80 areas where opportunities existed for executive branchagencies or Congress to reduce fragmentation, overlap, or duplication;achieve cost savings; or enhance revenue.
Figure 1 outlines thedefinitions we use for fragmentation, overlap, and duplication for thiswork. In February 2012, we issued our second annual report, whichidentified an additional 51 areas. In these two reports, we have identifieda total of approximately 300 actions that executive branch agencies andCongress could take to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government programs and activities.
Pub. L. No. 111-139, § 21, 124 Stat. 29 (2010), 31 U.S.C. § 712 Note. See appendix I for the list of congressional addressees for this work.
In assessing progress on the 81 areas we identified in our 2011 annual report for thisyear’s report, we combined two areas related to the Department of Homeland Security’smanagement of acquisitions (Areas 75 and 76) into one area. Therefore, we areevaluating progress for 80 areas identified in our 2011 annual report and 51 areasidentified in our 2012 annual report. See appendix II for additional information on scopeand methodology.