5 Ways To Streamline Government and Save Taxpayers’ Money, According To This New Government Report

April 8, 2014

The Government Accountability Office this week released its annual report on “Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits.”

In the report, the GAO presents 64 actions that the executive branch and Congress could take to improve government efficiency and effectiveness, 19 actions to address overlap, and 45 opportunities to reduce costs and effectively manage revenue collection.

Check out the whole report here. In the meantime, here are just five of their proposals:

 1. Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program

The Department of Energy is currently authorized to spend $7.5 billion to subsidize credit costs for direct loans to car manufacturers, but a slowdown of demand for such loans has led to $4.2 billion of that remaining untouched since 2009. Congress could consider rescinding the remaining funds to help reduce costs.

“Unless the Department of Energy can demonstrate demand for new Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loans and viable applications, Congress may wish to consider rescinding all or part of the remaining $4.2 billion in credit subsidy appropriations.”

2. Coin Inventory Management 

By updating and standardizing the methods by which the Federal Reserve manages the circulation of coins in the United States, Congress could add millions of dollars to the General Fund.

“The Federal Reserve should develop a process to assess factors influencing coin management costs and identify practices that could potentially lead to millions of dollars in revenue enhancement.”

3. Real-Estate Owned Properties

By effectively managing the process by which the Federal Housing Administration maintains, repairs, evaluates, markets, and sells foreclosed homes that it acquires, the government could save millions of dollars a year.

“Improvements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Federal Housing Administration’s disposition and oversight practices for foreclosed properties could produce increased sales proceeds and savings from maintenance and other expenses from holding properties totaling hundreds of millions of dollars per year.”

 4. Federal Real Property Ownership and Leasing

The General Services Administration will lease office space for federal agencies when public space is not available. By looking at ownership opportunities that may be less expensive than leasing, the GSA could save millions of dollars.

“The General Services Administration could potentially achieve millions of dollars in savings by using capital-planning best practices to create a long-term strategy for targeted ownership investments to replace some high-value leases.”

5. Online Taxpayer Services

By increasing the effectiveness of online taxpayer services and reducing reliance on costly telephone interactions, the IRS could save hundreds of millions of dollars – and provide a better experience for taxpayers.

“The Internal Revenue Service could potentially realize hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings and increased revenues by enhancing its online services, which would improve service to taxpayers and encourage greater tax law compliance.”