GAO: $100 Billion Wasted on Bogus Federal Payouts Annually

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 01:15 PM

By Melanie Batley

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The Government Accountability Office says the federal bureaucracy wasted more than $100 billion on bogus payments last year, partially because it doesn't keep track of its spending programs.

Testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday, Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said the only way to get government spending under control would be to have the Obama administration show more leadership and for Congress to do more oversight, The Washington Times reported.

"Imagine beginning every month not knowing what money you have and not being able to track how much you've spent," said committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, according to The Times. "Yet year after year, that's where the federal government operates."

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Dodaro pointed in particular to the Defense Department which receives more than half of the government's discretionary spending. The GAO says the military is so disorganized it does not know how many people it's paying or whether soldiers and other personnel are getting the correct salaries.

Nevertheless, the Defense Department has not been audited for 20 years, and was not included in the estimated $100 billion of government waste.

"It bothers me the [National Security Agency] can tell me how many times Aunt Margaret called Aunt Matilda, but I can't get an audit from the Defense Department," said Rep. Stephen Lynch, the Massachusetts Democrat, according to The Times.

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