Legislators released a report Monday identifying in excess of $87 billion in possible savings to the American taxpayer, and exposing fraud at the highest levels of American government.
Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley jointly announced the findings. Grassley chairs the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Johnson chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Conducted for over a year, the report, entitled, “Empowering Inspectors General: Supporting the IG Community Could Save Billions for American Taxpayers,” finds 15,222 open recommendations left unimplemented by executive branch departments and agencies they oversee.
“Our investigation reveals more than $87 billion in taxpayer dollars squandered by agencies not implementing more than 15,000 recommendations made by these federal watchdogs,” Sen. Johnson says in a release given to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The office of Housing and Urban Development has the highest number of open and unimplemented recommendations, standing at 2,106. These open recommendations date back over a decade, representing 15 years where taxpayers could obtained tax refunds.
The Department of Defense is the agency with highest potential costs savings stemming from open and unimplemented recommendations, reportedly costing the agency $33 billion over the past decade.
“Our investigation highlights the numerous obstacles that many inspectors general have faced in trying to root out waste, fraud and abuse. I will continue to hold federal agencies accountable to implement common-sense recommendations to save taxpayer dollars, and will fight to pass our legislation that is critical to strengthening inspectors general,” Sen. Johnson explains.
Eight different inspectors general reported difficulty accessing records from government agency officials. The inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, more popularly known as “TARP,” had to threaten and bring forth subpoenas in order to obtain requested information, the report finds.
“At some point, agencies and the Obama Administration need to be held accountable for refusing to take corrective action to reduce waste that has been identified by the independent Inspectors General,” Sen. Grassley says.
“That’s not the kind of fiscal responsibility Iowans expect of their government. My colleagues on the Appropriations Committees should cut the funding allocated to these agencies by the amount of the waste, given that the agencies could function effectively at a lower funding level by simply implementing the Inspector General recommendations,” Sen. Grassley concludes.
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