Feds Often Have 75 Programs Doing One Thing: Review

GAO recommends combining some
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2011 9:08 AM CST
In this June 29, 2010 file photo, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., gestures on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – The government is positively brimming with overlapping programs and offices, potentially producing billions in waste, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. There are, for example, 82 federal programs for improving teacher quality, 80 for helping poor people with their transportation needs, 47 for job training and employment help, and 56 to help people understand finance, according to a draft of the report seen by the Wall Street Journal.

The report was conducted thanks to an amendment Tom Coburn inserted into last year’s law raising the federal borrowing limit. Coburn thinks the report identifies $100 billion to $200 billion in duplicative spending. The report doesn’t list a number, but does conclude that, “Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially save billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services.”

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