The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a new report laying out how the Federal government could save billions in spending and improve the efficiency of its programs and activities – with up to $21 billion of projected benefits for 2022 and beyond.
The report by GAO identifies ways the Federal government could save billions of dollars through 94 corrective measures covering 21 new and nine existing areas, including through improvements in IT infrastructure.
The GAO’s “overlap” report identifies ways the government could be more efficient and save taxpayers’ money by looking for agencies and programs that work on similar or different part of the same goal; have similar goals or provide similar services; and work on the same activities or provide the same services.
GAO has been reporting on potential fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in the Federal government since 2011. As of March 2022, Congress and agencies have fully addressed 724 of the 1,299 actions GAO identified from 2011 to 2022, and partially addressed 240.
“Addressing the remaining 469 open actions we have identified since 2011 could save the government tens of billions of dollars in additional costs and improved government services, among other benefits,” wrote GAO. According to the agency, it is no longer tracking 106 of the previously identified actions due to changing circumstances since they were first made.
Examples of actions already taken to help improve the Federal government’s IT infrastructure and provide savings include:
- 22 Federal agencies consolidating data centers to improve government efficiency with related cost savings of approximately $5.7 billion, in support of the Office of Management and Budget’s Data Center Optimization Initiative;
- The Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) issuing a five-year strategic plan to enhance the effectiveness of STEM education to enhance the U.S.’ global competitiveness in these fields of study; and
- The Department of Veterans Affairs saving more than $10 billion by evaluating strategic sourcing opportunities, set goals, tracked metrics, and procured a larger share of goods and services—including IT—using contracts aligned with strategic sourcing principles.