Staff Report: Open and Unimplemented IG Recommendations Could Save Taxpayers $67Billion

Published: Mar 5, 2013

As the President’s sequestration cuts go into effect, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released today a report detailing the growth in the backlog unimplemented recommendations from agency inspectors general.
“This report chronicles $67 billion in unimplemented reforms that non-partisan Inspectors General have identified,”  said Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “President Obama should listen to the recommendations of his Administration’s own Inspector Generals and work with Congress to implement common sense spending cuts that target wasteful and poorly performing programs instead of settling for the furloughs and service disruptions happening under the sequester.”
The Committee’s review found that the backlog had grown to a high of 16,906 open recommendations. Using the most conservative cost-saving estimates, implementing these recommendations could save taxpayers $67 billion per year.
On an annual basis over the past four years, the Committee has requested 73 agency IGs to identify their recommendations they’ve made to management which have gone unimplemented.


  • Federal agencies did not implement 15,784 recommendations from the IGs in FY2011, worth more than $55 billion to taxpayers.
  • In January 2009, former Chairman Waxman found that federal agencies could have saved taxpayers $25.9 billion by implementing open IG recommendations.  Today, there are 16,906 unimplemented recommendations worth $67 billion to taxpayers. 
  • The numbers of unimplemented recommendations and unrealized savings for taxpayers have increased every year since 2009.There are IG vacancies at the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and USAID.  In 2012, those agencies ranked first, second, and fourth among agencies with the most unimplemented recommendations.

There are currently IG vacancies at six agencies where the President nominates the IG.  Those six agencies collectively represent more than 25% of the President’s entire 2013 budget. The Committee’s analysis shows that the lack of a permanent IG correlates to an increase in the number of open and unimplemented recommendations.

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