Every year, the General Accountability Office issues a report identifying areas where the U.S. government wastefully spends money because it has too many departments stepping all over themselves to spend money to do the same things.
2018 is no different. This year’s report highlights several opportunities to save money without any negative impact to whatever it is that the government is supposed to achieve in how it is spending the money. Here is a sample of the kind of money that’s available to be saved:
- The Department of Defense (DOD) could potentially save approximately $527 million over 5 years by minimizing unnecessary overlap and duplication in its U.S. distribution centers for troop support goods.
- The Department of Energy may be able to reduce certain risks and save tens of billions of dollars by adopting alternative approaches to treat a portion of its low-activity radioactive waste at its Hanford Site.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs could potentially save tens of millions of dollars when acquiring medical and surgical supplies by better adhering to supply chain practices of leading hospitals.
- The Coast Guard should close its boat stations that provide unnecessarily duplicative search and rescue coverage to improve operations and potentially save millions of dollars.
- Congress and the Internal Revenue Service could realize hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and increased revenues by enhancing online services and improving efforts to prevent identity theft refund fraud.
- Medicare could save $1 to 2 billion annually if Congress equalized the rates paid for certain health care services, which often vary depending on where the service is performed.
- DOD could achieve billions of dollars in savings over the next several years by continuing to employ best management practices on its weapon systems acquisition programs.
- Congress could consider modifying how Medicare pays certain cancer hospitals to achieve almost $500 million annually in program savings.
Overall, the GAO has identified no fewer than 365 actions that the U.S. government could take to stop wastefully spending as much money as it does.
A million here and a million there, and suddenly we’re talking about a serious amount of taxpayer dollars that can stop being wasted!