On May 11, 2022, GAO released its 12th annual report highlighting opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in federal programs—as well as chances to save money and increase revenue.
We identified 94 new actions that Congress and executive branch agencies could take to save money and improve efficiency and effectiveness of government programs and activities.
Notable examples include:
- The Department of Energy could save tens of billions of dollars by adopting alternative ways to treat low-activity radioactive waste.
- Internal Revenue Service could save $20 million or more annually and improve taxpayer services by establishing a mechanism that identifies, monitors, and mitigates issues contributing to refund interest payments.
- The Department of Defense could save millions of dollars by better managing fragmentation in its food program and strengthening ongoing initiatives to reduce improper defense travel payments.
- Social Security could save millions of dollars by identifying and addressing overpayments to disability beneficiaries in its Ticket to Work program.
Congress and agencies have made significant progress in addressing many of the 1,299 actions that we identified from 2011 to 2022. These efforts have resulted in approximately $552 billion in financial benefits, an increase of $35 billion since our 2021 report.
The status of our proposed changes can be followed on our Action Tracker—an online tool that monitors the progress Congress and federal agencies have made in addressing the actions we’ve identified.
Read our press release about the 2022 annual report—issued on May 11, 2022—to find out more.
GAO’s Action Tracker is an interactive online tool that tracks the progress that Congress and federal agencies have made in reducing duplication, overlap, and fragmentation—and reducing costs and increasing revenue—that GAO identifies in its annual report. Fully addressing every action in this tool would result in tens of billions in savings for the federal government.
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About This Work
The federal government is spending a lot more money than it is collecting, and addressing this imbalance will require changes to both federal spending and revenue policies.
However, Congress and federal agencies could act now to address federal programs or activities that are fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative—which would save the government tens of billions of dollars.
The total savings associated with this work is a rough estimate based on a variety of sources. For more information on our methods for calculating these savings, please visit our report.
Definitions of Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication
Addressing Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication: Progress in Enhancing Government Effectiveness and Achieving Hundreds of Billions of Dollars in Financial BenefitsGAO-21-104648Published: Sep 28, 2021.Publicly Released: Sep 28, 2021.2021 Annual Report: New Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions in Financial BenefitsGAO-21-455SPPublished: May 12, 2021.Publicly Released: May 12, 2021.2020 Annual report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions in Financial BenefitsGAO-20-440SPPublished: May 19, 2020.Publicly Released: May 19, 2020.2019 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions in Financial BenefitsGAO-19-285SPPublished: May 21, 2019.Publicly Released: May 21, 2019.2018 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial BenefitsGAO-18-371SPPublished: Apr 26, 2018.Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2018.2017 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial BenefitsGAO-17-491SPPublished: Apr 26, 2017.Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2017.2016 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial BenefitsGAO-16-375SPPublished: Apr 13, 2016.Publicly Released: Apr 13, 2016.2015 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial BenefitsGAO-15-404SPPublished: Apr 14, 2015.Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2015.Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication: An Evaluation and Management GuideGAO-15-49SPPublished: Apr 14, 2015.Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2015.2014 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial BenefitsGAO-14-343SPPublished: Apr 08, 2014.Publicly Released: Apr 08, 2014.2013 Annual Report: Actions Needed to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial BenefitsGAO-13-279SPPublished: Apr 09, 2013.Publicly Released: Apr 09, 2013.2012 Annual Report: Opportunities to Reduce Duplication, Overlap and Fragmentation, Achieve Savings, and Enhance RevenueGAO-12-342SPPublished: Feb 28, 2012.Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2012.2011 Annual Report: Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance RevenueGAO-11-318SPPublished: Mar 01, 2011.Publicly Released: Mar 01, 2011.
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How, specifically, can the federal government save billions of dollars and also improve the way many…Press ReleaseAnnual Report on Government Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication Flags Billions of Dollars in Potential SavingsDATEWashington, D.C. (May 11, 2022) – The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued its 12th annual report identifying opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication across…