Congress should know what federal agencies are wasting

Congressional leaders remain focused on passing the $1 trillion infrastructure package and answering the Senate’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution. But a  bipartisan effort is also underway that has the potential to save hundreds of billions of dollars over time by curbing waste, fraud, and abuse across government agencies. 

In July, the House of Representatives passed the FY2022 funding bill for the Legislative Branch, which provides funding for Congress and its support agencies like the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). The House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee, chaired by Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), included language in the report accompanying the funding bill requiring GAO to tell the committee how much federal agencies could save by implementing the watchdog’s open recommendations:

“The Committee is concerned with the potential waste of federal tax dollars due to departments and agencies in the Federal Government not implementing GAO recommendations,” the appropriators wrote. “The Committee directs that no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall provide the Committees with a report estimating the financial costs of unimplemented Government Accountability Office recommendations by agency.”

As of September, GAO says that there are more than 4,700 open recommendations in its database, including nearly 500 “priority recommendations.” How much could American taxpayers expect to save if federal agencies made all of the changes that the congressional watchdog agency is recommending?

The answer is surely in the ballpark of tens (if not hundreds) of billions of dollars.

Click here to read the full article from The Hill.

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