Monday, May 20, 2024

Our Government Can’t Even Count All The Programs It Has

If the irony and hypocrisy of this story wasn’t so maddening, it would actually be laughable. The government has once again demonstrated a degree of incompetence that can’t logically be replicated. What’s even more infuriating is there is no discernible effort to correct these oversights. But if you or I were operating an institution or business in this shoddy of a manner, our punishment courtesy of the feds would surely be swift and extreme.

The Government Performance and Results Act (GRPA), was enacted in 1993. It was designed to improve program management throughout the Federal government. Agencies are required to develop a five-year strategic plan outlining its mission, long-term goals for the agency’s major functions, performance measures, and report results.

Then in 2010, the GRPA Modernization Act was enacted to modernizes the Federal Government’s performance management framework. Retaining and amplifying some aspects of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 while also addressing some of its weaknesses.

Part of that act requires that all government programs must be accounted for and that the Office of Management and Budget is to make them available on a public website.

However, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO), government agencies don’t agree on what constitutes a federal program.

“This lack of a common definition, or at least a way to collect and present comparable information for programs that are defined differently, has hindered past efforts to develop an inventory.”

We have all been sickened by federal bureaucracy, but this requirement has been ignored since 2011. It’s 2023, how much time do they need?

Our government is asking us to believe that the reason they can’t account for the money they spend is because they can’t agree on what a federal program is. How can you not account for a program that you are funding?

The GAO claims that since 2014 they have made 12 recommendations to the Office of Management and Budget that would:

“Effectively plan for and create a program inventory that provides complete, comparable and useful information.”

I can only guess that those recommendations fell on deaf ears, because it wasn’t until November of 2021 that the Office of Management and Budget provided a program inventory implementation plan.

Now after all of the “foot dragging” and ridiculous excuses, you would think that that this new program would be swiftly implemented, right?


The plan wants to implement a series of pilot programs, with full implementation as required by statute in …. wait for it …. 2025.

The report offered this lame excuse:

“Given the size and scope of the Federal Government, developing a complete inventory of federal programs is a complex undertaking.”

Is there a better example than this that the government is a bloated whale that needs to be drastically reigned in? They are spending the people’s tax money on programs that they are not even keeping track of.

We have all heard stories about programs that haven’t spent their allotted federal money and if the end of the year is approaching, they make a concerted effort to spend it. The saying about federal funding has always been “use it or loose it.”
This translates to wasteful spending that the government can’t track and therefore can’t correct.

This is also a great example of how “self-policing” does not work. How can it take 14 years to answer a question that should have been accurately answered on Day 1?

The U.S. Government is too large and out of control. So large, that even they can’t define where some of their edges end.