Panel: IG recommendations could have saved $26 billion
Agencies could save almost $26 billion if they implemented the more
than 13,000 recommendations made by inspectors general since 2001 that
the Bush administration did not follow, according to a report released
today by the Democratic staff members of the House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee.
“Under the Bush administration,
thousands of proposals to make government more efficient languished.
The result has been billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse,”
said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee's outgoing chairman.
Waxman became chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in
the new Congress that opened today.
Rep. Edolphus Towns
(D-N.Y.), who has become chairman of the Oversight and Government
Reform Committee, said the IGs did the hard work of identifying waste
“But agencies have not been fixing the problems.
Congress and the Obama administration should keep the spotlight on
wasteful programs until they are running efficiently,” said Towns.
agencies the committee's staff members said could save the most by
implementing the recommendations are the Social Security Administration
at $8.6 billion, the Health and Human Services Department at $7.7
billion, the Defense Department at $1.5 billion, the Transportation
Department at $1.5 billion and the Housing and Urban Development
Department at $997 million.
The committee asked the government's
IGs to identify all recommendations made between Jan. 1, 2001 and Dec.
31, 2008 that had not been implemented by federal agencies. The
information showed that the Bush administration failed to implement
13,847 recommendations, which could have saved taxpayers $25.9 billion,
the report said. The IGs made 98,317 recommendations in total over the
time period, and recommendations made in 2007 or earlier would account
for three-fourths, or $20.3 billion, in savings, the report said.
HUD and the Labor Department each have more than a thousand open
recommendations and half of those were made in 2007 or earlier, the
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member
of the committee, however, called the report a “parting partisan shot”
on Waxman’s last day and was issued without input or consultation of
the committee’s Republican members.
“This partisan report
completely ignores IG recommendations made during the Clinton
administration,” Issa said, adding that he looked forward to working
with Towns “on a bipartisan basis to examine in more detail these
important IG recommendations that have not yet been implemented.”
Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.