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GAO Report

GAO Report

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Published by Chris Rowan
This GAO summary identifies billions of dollars in potential savings if Congress just had the will to streamline initiatives that target politically popular causes.
This GAO summary identifies billions of dollars in potential savings if Congress just had the will to streamline initiatives that target politically popular causes.

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Published by: Chris Rowan on Mar 01, 2011
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GAO Duplication Report
– 
Highlights
 Key quotes from the introduction
 
―Overlap and fragmentation among government programs or activities can be harbingers of unnecessary
duplication.  Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially savebillions of taxpayer dollars annually and help agencies provide more eff 
icient and effective services.‖
  
―In some cases, there is sufficient information available today to show that if actions are taken to address
individual issues, which are summarized in the report, financial benefits ranging from the tens of millionsto several billion dollars annually may be realized by addressing that single issue.  For example, while theDepartment of Defense is making limited changes to the governance of its military health care system,
broader restructuring could result in annual savings of up to $460 million.‖
  
―Considering the amount of program dollars involved in the issues we have identified, even limited
adjustments could result in significant s
avings.‖
 
   
  MissionsNumber of EstimatedDuplicative andOverlappingPrograms orInitiativesNumber of Departments andAgencies InvolvedEstimated CostPrograms withDuplicative andOverlappingPurposes  Notable Findings & QuotesTSA SecurityAssessments (pg.105)
2 agency efforts
TSA‘s security
assessments forhazardous materialtruckingcompanies and
DOT‘s Federal
Motor CarrierSafetyAdministrationIncreasedcoordination of security reviews of material truckingcompanies wouldsave, over the nextfive years,anywhere from$164,000 to over$1 millionGAO found TSA and DOT do nothave a process in place to shareinformation on the results of theirsecurity programs; and notes thatincreased coordination of securityreviews could save money and alsoimprove their relationships withthe commercial trucking industry.
Sharing SecurityInformation (pg.111)
Three federalefforts to facilitateinformationsharing with thepublic transitindustry2 agencies -DHSand TSAAmerican PublicTransportationAssociationreceived $1.2million during FYs2009-2010 DHS could notbreak out costs forits public transitportal
– 
theprimarymechanism forsharing suchinformation
– 
butits information
―GAO found that this potential for 
overlap could overwhelm publictransit agencies with similar
information‖ (pg 111).
  
―Taking steps
to streamlineinformation sharing with publictransit agencies could reduce thevolume of similar informationpublic transit agencies receive,making it easier for them todiscern relevant information andtake appropriate actions to enhance
security‖ (pg.
113). 
GAO argues that ―developing and
 
network cost $62million in FYs2009-2010 and itsestimate lifecyclecosts are $451million 
TSA‘s portal cost
$2.5 million inFYs 2009-2010  tracking verifiable cost dataspecific to each information-sharing mechanism as it relates toservices provided to the publictransit sector could assist TSA inidentifying potential cost savingsresulting from consolidating such
mechanisms‖ (Pg. 114).
 
FEMApreparednessgrants (pg. 116)
FEMA grants forpreparedness17 grants Over fiscal years2002-2010,Congressappropriated $34billion for suchprograms; and thenumber of programs over thistimeframe grewfrom 8 to 17.
―FEMA does not compare and
coordinate grant applicationsacross its preparedness programsto identify potential duplication.In addition, FEMA has notestablished measureable goals orperformance measures forpreparedness capabilities toidentify gaps to assist ineffectively prioritizing nationalinvestments through preparedness
grant programs‖ (pb. 116).
 
DevelopmentEfforts inAfghanistan (pg.120)
2 (USAIDassistanceprogram  andDOD
Commander‘s
EmergencyResponseProgram)Primarily DoD andUSAID$16 billion sinceFY 2002
―Agencies involved in the
implementation of developmentprojects
– 
principally USAID andDOD
– 
have not adopted acentralized data system that tracksall U.S. government-fundedAfghan development efforts and isaccessible by all relevant federal
agencies…without a centralizeddata system…the government may
not be able to fully leverageavailable resources and risksduplicating efforts and wastingtaxpayer dollars, as a result of fragmented or overlapping
structures‖ (Pg. 120).
 
Arms Control andNonproliferationBureaus (pg. 123)
2 Bureaus withinState(InternationalSecurity andNonproliferation
– 
ISN
– 
andVerification,Compliance andImplementation
– 
 VCI)2 Bureaus withinState (InternationalSecurity andNonproliferation
– 
 ISN
– 
andVerification,Compliance andImplementation
– 
 VCI)FY 2010, VCIreceived $31million and ISNreceived $48.9millionFinds despite efforts to reorganize,a lack of clear guidancecontributes to fragmentation,overlap and redundancies betweenbureaus. 
―As a result, concerns about
mission overlaps persist.  Stateemployees stated that some officesremain overworked while othersare underworked.  The section of the manual detailing the roles andresponsibilities of these bureaus
had never been drafted and
approved…”
(emphasis added,pg. 124).
 
 
Domestic FoodAssistance (pg.125)
18 programs USDA, HHS, DHS $62.5 billion (FY2008)
―The availability of multiple
programs with similar benefitshelps ensure that those in needhave access to nutritious food,
butcan also increase administrativecosts,
 
which account forapproximately a tenth to morethan a quarter of total costsamong the largest of theseprograms
 
(emphasis added, pg.125). 
―GAO‘s previous work has shown
that overlap among programs canlead to inefficient use of federalfunds, duplication of effort, andconfusion among those seeking
services‖ (pg. 125).
  
―Program rules related to
determining eligibility oftenrequire the collection of similarinformation by multiple
entities…This can create
unnecessary work for bothproviders and applicants and mayresult in the use of moreadministrative resources thanne
eded‖ (pg. 126).
  
“Little is known about the
effectiveness of [11 of the 18programs] because they have not
been well studied” (emphasis
added, pg. 126).HomelessPrograms (pg.129)
20 programs 7 agencies $2.9 billion (FY2009)
Congress is often to blame:
―Fragmentation and overlap in
some of these programs may bedue in part to their legislativecreation as separate programsunder the jurisdiction of several
agencies‖ (pgs. 129
-130). 
―Fragmentation can create
difficulties for people in accessingservices as well as administrativeburdens for providers who mustnavigate various applicationrequirements, selection criteria,
and reporting requirements‖ (pg.
130). 
―Fragmentation has also resulted
in the collection of data with
―limited usefulness‖ (pg. 130).
 

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