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Federal Agencies Ignore Low-Hanging Fruit

The Committee on Oversight & Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives released a staff report (requires Adobe) one week ago that said, “$67 Billion in Cost-Cutting Reforms Left on the Table.” According to the committee’s press release:

“The Committee’s review found that the backlog had grown to a high of 16,906 open recommendations. Using the most conservative cost-saving estimates, implementing these recommendations could save taxpayers $67 billion per year.” (emphasis added)

Here are the findings from the report itself:

  • “Federal agencies did not implement 15,784 recommendations from the IGs in FY2011, worth more than $55 billion to taxpayers.
  • “In January 2009, former Chairman Waxman found that federal agencies could have saved taxpayers $25.9 billion by implementing open IG recommendations. Today, there are 16,906 unimplemented recommendations worth $67 billion to taxpayers.
  • “The numbers of unimplemented recommendations and unrealized savings for taxpayers have increased every year since 2009.
  • “There are IG vacancies at the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and USAID. In 2012, those agencies ranked first, second, and fourth among agencies with the most unimplemented recommendations.”

In commenting on the report, Investor’s Business Daily wrote in an editorial posted yesterday:

“Far from a disaster, the $85 billion in mandated spending cuts that fell on Washington this month may be the best thing to happen in years.

“Already, the sequester has inspired people to ask pointed questions, such as why the White House can afford three calligraphers but has to cancel public tours, or what national purpose is served by robotic squirrels.

“The public is noticing that, after four years of madcap spending, there's still some waste. Whoda thunk?

Here is a graphic from the committee's press release showing the annual value of open and unimplemented recommendations:

The report also reported currently vacant IG positions "at six agencies where the President nominates the IG.  Those six agencies collectively represent more than 25% of the President’s entire 2013 budget. The Committee’s analysis shows that the lack of a permanent IG correlates to an increase in the number of open and unimplemented recommendations." Following is a graphic about that:

Kudos to the staff of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee that performed the analysis, and to the editorial writer at Investor's Business Daily who wrote the editorial.

Arlington taxpayers concerned about the economy and the state of the nation's financial management are urged to write their members of Congress. Contact information:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -  write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Jim Moran (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

And tell them ACTA sent you!

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