GAO Finds More Duplication in Federal Government
That may not surprise most Growls readers, but it does reveal the continued fecklessness of virtually all Congressional politicians in rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. According to a story yesterday in the Federal Times, “GAO finds duplication in programs intended to help new entrepreneurs.” The Federal Times story begins:
“The government has dozens of programs that overlap in their efforts to help Americans start new businesses, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report.
“Four agencies — the Small Business Administration and the Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture departments — offer 52 different economic development programs that help entrepreneurs create business plans, learn to manage start-ups and obtain funding, according to the Aug. 23 report.
“Many of the programs overlap in the types of technical and financial assistance they provide. For example, 24 of the programs offer entrepreneurs in any industry a range of technical assistance, such as business training and counseling. Sixteen programs offer loans to entrepreneurs in any industry.
“Many programs target similar entrepreneurs, in particular businesses in rural areas, businesses in economically distressed areas, disadvantaged businesses and small businesses.
“Since programs overlap, an entrepreneur could receive assistance from multiple programs, the report shows. For example, a small business in a rural, economically distressed area, such as Susquehanna County, Pa., could receive technical assistance through at least nine programs, GAO said.”
But Congress’s fecklessness is not alone. It’s joined by the White House. According to the Federal Times:
“USDA and SBA entered into a formal agreement in 2010 to coordinate their programs for businesses in rural areas; however, the agencies have not yet defined their responsibilities, found ways to leverage their resources or established compatible policies, the report said.”
The 52 programs reviewed by GAO are funded with $2 billion of your tax dollars, as noted in the GAO report (GAO-12-819, dated August 23, 2012).
Imagine the waste in just this small sliver of the federal government ($2 billion for a small number of programs is small?). Then multiply it by the waste in the virtually countless number of federal programs. It may not be sufficient to make a significant dent in the federal deficit, but it would be a start. But, will Congress and the executive branch even try?