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GAO: Duplication Of Programs Costing Taxpayers Billions

February 29, 2012 by  

GAO: Duplication Of Programs Costing Taxpayers Billions

A 428-page study conducted by the Government Accountability Office found something infuriating, but likely not surprising to many Americans: overlapping government programs are costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually.

The study noted that in areas ranging from food safety to background checks to breast cancer research, the Federal government has dozens of repeated agency responsibilities, likely costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every year.

The Washington Post points out a few of the duplicate government programs in a recent article:

Fifty-three separate programs run by four federal agencies provide economic development assistance to entrepreneurs and several of the programs provide the same type of assistance. There are 17 programs providing “technical assistance” to entrepreneurs: Two at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, six run by the Small Business Administration, five run by the Agriculture Department and four out of the Commerce Department.

The lack of a coordinate reporting system makes it difficult for the National Institutes of Health, Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs to track health research funded by other federal agencies, GAO said, meaning agencies may issue duplicative grants to different research projects on the same topic.

Federal agencies spent at least $79 billion on at least 7,200 investments in information technology last fiscal year. The Pentagon and Energy Department had the most.

The government spent at least $1 billion last year to conduct more than 2 million background checks of federal job applicants, the report said. Costs have grown in recent years in part because at least seven agencies are spending tens of millions of dollars on separate databases to track personnel records.

The GAO also included a list of cost-cutting recommendations for the Federal government.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • s c

    Obviously, duplication of effort is a government method of “creating” new jobs. In the real world, it wouldn’t last long. In Washington, where common sense and accountability are obscene words, anything goes – just as long as you make new friends and a ‘share the wealth’ methodology is used (and remember to vote for ME, you retard).
    The cure is NO CONSECUTIVE TERMS, people. SCREW ‘term limits.’ The rest of the cure is PRISON for those who perpetuate WASTE and do it in the name of the PEOPLE.

    • Randall Covington

      Absolutely! The constitution should be changed in the qualification section to state; “And can not have previously held ANY elective office.” We have over 300000000 people , we do not need any to serve twice.

  • 45caliber

    About 1976, I read an article by and about a man who had investigated many of these duplicate programs while writing a term paper in college. As soon as he had, instead of writing the term paper, he quit school and started applying for grant money.

    He stated that he had found 27 grants by various agencies that paid to “not grow” something on your land, including the Land Bank which pays you to not grow anything. Three or four were duplicates from different agencies. That was just one area. He was making about $200,000 a year spending 3 months applying for the various grants. He said he could have made far more but $200,000 was all he needed to spend in a year. He had a 65 foot yaught and lived the other 9 months of the year sailing around the Carribean. A couple of the grants he received: a year long study of the love life of a certain species of spider in a county in Washington state and a new biography of George Washington. In both cases he collected the money and paid half of it to someone else to do the work. Everyone was happy. He also stated that the forms he filled out in three months kept 114 people emplyed by the government year round processing them. (I don’t know where he got that info.) He also stated that it was impossible to actually make a study to determine what all the agencies did since by the time you finished, they had changed what they were doing.

    I saw a list of grants paid about five years ago. It was interesting. One $100,000 grant was to attempt to raise a certain type of parrot that was on the endangered list – but it had to be done in a certain county and town in Tennessee. Another also for $100,000, was to a man in Austrailia who was to attempt to prove that there were still wild dingos by capturing one. He would set out live traps around water holes and check them once every couple of days to see what he caught.

    Most of the rest were just as important.

    • dfinch

      This was exactly what Obama was doing in Chicago and I’m sure it’s carried over to the WhiteHouse. He would get grants for his developer friends and they’d turn around and give him a large donation. Sounds familiar………..

  • Vigilant

    Mr. Rolly, this is same old, same old.

    It’s been reported for decades and still nothing is done about, and nothing ever will be.

    And along comes Obama and claims that the $500 billion they steal from Medicare to support Obamacare will be funded out of killing the fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare.

    I’ve got a bridge to nowhere for sale. Any takers?

  • Bob Marshall

    Congress doesn’t worry about reckless spending because they know the taxpayer will pick up the bill. That is the 51% who pay taxes.

  • Buck

    No news here , and the only one that will fix it is RON PAUL , if given the chance that is .

  • http://na Ron Paul or status quo

    When I bring up conversations about this and other travesties, I get responses of been going on a long time, nothing I can do about it. I said the same for years. Then I heard of this man named Ron Paul. My life changed from then on. FED up with status quo. Ron Paul 2012 I’m going to remain vigilant with a 45caliber and buck the system.


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