Report: High-Tech Effort Needed to Catch Wasteful Spending

December 19, 2011

The government should take a higher-tech, more centralized approach to tracking where taxpayer money goes, a presidentially-appointed panel said in a report released Wednesday.

The status quo "has become exceedingly large, complex and costly," the Government Accountability and Transparency Board said. "It is critical that the government begin the effort to integrate systems and eliminate the duplication, redundancies and inefficiencies that result from years of piecemeal efforts."

The board recommended creating a standardized system to assign identification numbers to grants, loans and other awards across the government. It also proposed expanding the use of investigative tools employed by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board to head off wasteful and fraudulent spending.

The government's overall goal should be to tie spending and results, the board said. Without the ability to show money spent on programs, services and products actually produced results, "federal decision makers cannot ensure that public funds are being spent optimally," the report said.

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