Annual report on government fragmentation, overlap and duplication flags billions of dollars in potential savings

Washington, DC (May 11, 2022) – The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released its 12and Annual Report identify opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap and duplication within the federal government and potentially save billions of dollars. The new report outlines 94 new corrective actions in 21 new and nine existing areas that Congress and the administration could take to save money and improve the efficiency of government programs and operations.

“GAO’s ongoing work on fragmentation, overlap, and duplication has helped bring to the attention of Congress and agencies a number of ineffective or unnecessary practices in government,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller United States general and head of the GAO. “Our latest annual report provides a list of targeted actions that could potentially save billions of dollars and significantly increase revenue.”

Notable suggestions from the latest report include the following:

  • The Department of Energy could seek less expensive disposal options for nuclear and hazardous waste, such as immobilizing the waste in grout, which could help save tens of billions of dollars.
  • Federal agency contracting managers should use metrics that measure cost reduction or cost avoidance to improve the performance of their procurement organizations, a metric that could save billions of dollars a year.
  • Congress should consider asking the Department of Health and Human Services to further reduce payments to skilled nursing facilities with high rates of potentially avoidable hospital readmissions and emergency room visits, which could save hundreds millions of dollars in Medicare costs.
  • The Internal Revenue Service could improve service to taxpayers and better manage interest refunds, which could save $20 million or more each year, by establishing a mechanism to identify, monitor and mitigate issues contributing to repayment of interest payments.
  • The Social Security Administration could potentially save millions of dollars by identifying and addressing the causes of overpayments to disability recipients in its Ticket to Work program.
  • The Department of Defense could improve various administrative services, for example by addressing the fragmentation of its food program and strengthening ongoing initiatives to reduce inappropriate defense travel payments, which could save millions of dollars.

Although more needs to be done, Congress and executive branch agencies have made progress in addressing many of the 1,299 actions proposed by the GAO from 2011 to 2022 to reduce costs, increase revenue and improve the efficiency of agency operations. These efforts have generated approximately $552 billion in financial benefits, an increase of $35 billion from the last GAO report on fragmentation, overlap and duplication.

The status of GAO’s proposed changes can be tracked on its Action trackingan online tool that monitors the progress of Congress and federal agencies.

For more information, contact Chuck Young, GAO’s Managing Director of Public Affairs at [email protected] or 202-512-4800.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to help Congress fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. The GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analysis, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. The GAO provides Congress with timely, objective, factual, non-ideological, fair and balanced information. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its heart values ​​of responsibility, integrity and reliability.

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