STATEMENT: Gadi Dechter on the Government Accountability Office Report

Washington, D.C. — Gadi Dechter, Managing Director for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today in reaction to the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, report, “2012 Annual Report: Opportunities to Reduce Duplication, Overlap and Fragmentation, Achieve Savings, and Enhance Revenue”:

Today’s GAO report underscores the need for Congress to grant President Barack Obama the fast-track consolidation authority he requested in January. The report is a timely reminder of the importance of modernizing government operations to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and trim the deficit.

The administration has made important progress in this area, as the GAO notes, but there is much more to do. Reducing duplication in government agencies will not only save billions of taxpayer dollars, it can also streamline the bureaucracy to boost U.S. competitiveness in the face of mounting global competition.

That’s why the president in January proposed merging six business and trade-focused agencies into one, echoing recommendations made in 2010 by the Center for American Progress. Such moves will save money and also ensure the government better helps American businesses create jobs and compete globally.

In order for this and other reforms to happen, Congress must give the president the same fast-track consolidation authority enjoyed for more than 50 years by Presidents Hoover through Reagan. This authority may only be used where it saves money and streamlines government—and it ensures Congress has an up-or-down vote on any reorganization plans. The time to act is now.

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To speak with an expert on this topic, contact Katie Peters at 202.741.6285 or kpeters1@americanprogress.org.