Achieving Financial Benefits—One Action at a Time

Duplication iconSince 2011, we’ve outlined actions federal agencies and Congress can take to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in federal programs and activities—work that resulted in $56 billion in financial benefits to the federal government between fiscal years 2010 and 2015 (with an additional $69 billion expected through 2025).

November 15 marked our annual update to our Action Tracker, the online tool we use to monitor these actions. Today’s WatchBlog shares some highlights from our latest update.

Taking action

When we find fragmentation, overlap, and duplication, we alert the relevant agency and/or Congress about actions that can fix the problem. In our latest update, we closed 36 actions because they were resolved by federal agencies and/or Congress.

For example, as a result of our work:

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated their software and databases to help weed out ineligible providers—for example, those with ineligible practice locations or who have lost their medical licenses. These updates could help CMS prevent ineligible providers from billing Medicare billions of dollars.
  • IRS streamlined its intake and review process for whistleblower claims, which will help the agency review more claims from tax whistleblowers—those who report when others are underpaying taxes. This can also help the IRS more quickly collect potentially billions of dollars in unpaid taxes.
  • The Department of the Treasury reduced its estimates for the Making Home Affordable Program—which helps eligible borrowers avoid foreclosure by lowering their monthly payments—from $29.8 billion to $25.1 billion, and reduced expected costs by deobligating $2 billion from the program in February 2016.

Data, two ways

If you want to take a look for yourself at the newly closed actions or the ones that are still open, visit our Action Tracker webpage.

Alternately, our new downloadable Action Tracker spreadsheet lets you sort and compare these actions for yourself—check it out here.

Duplication, overlap, and fragmentation


  • Questions on the content of this post? Contact Charles Young at youngc1@gao.gov.
  • Comments on GAO’s WatchBlog? Contact blog@gao.gov.
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