The Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified in a new report 168 new actions that Congress and Federal agencies could to take to improve efficiency and effectiveness across the Federal government, including two new recommendations involving information technology.

GAO’s report identifies the larger number of new actions in 29 new areas — 18 of which deal with fragmentation, overlap, or duplication in Federal missions. Among those 18 new areas are the two new information technology areas:

  • The Office of Management (OMB), with the Department of Treasury, implementing a data governance structure to “ensure greater consistency and comparability” of data to manage fragmentation in Federal spending data; and
  • Increased coordination in Internal Revenue Service offices to better manage fragmented efforts ensuring the security of taxpayer information held by third-party providers;

In addition to the 29 new areas, GAO also identified 88 new actions related to 10 existing areas that were included in annual reports from 2011 to 2019, including:

  • 28 actions, identified in April 2019, to help agencies with better planning and implementation of cloud-based solutions; and
  • 36 actions, also identified in April 2019, to help Federal agencies meet OMB’s data center consolidation and optimization goals.

“In our nine previous reports issued from 2011 to 2019, we introduced more than 325 areas and more than 900 actions for Congress or executive branch agencies to reduce, eliminate, or better manage fragmentation, overlap, or duplication; achieve cost savings; or enhance revenues,” GAO wrote. “Congress and executive branch agencies have partially or fully addressed 721 (79 percent) of the actions we identified from 2011 to 2019, resulting in about $429 billion in financial benefits. We estimate tens of billions more dollars could be saved by fully implementing our open actions.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.