don’t hold your breath.
The administration found $19 billion in cost savings by making cuts to contracting services and consolidating purchase contracts.
By modifying and consolidating purchasing contracts the Department of Homeland Security will save more than $87 million. The cuts will be made at every agency according OMB Deputy Director for Management Jeff Zients.
The Office of Management and Budget outlined some of the cuts and announced the government will create an online “dashboard” so taxpayers can gauge whether agencies are meeting their goals.
talkingpointsmemo reports that “The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is using more online tools such as one that’s like eBay and will save $73 million.”
“Contractors enter prices until the bid ‘auction’ ends with the selection of the lowest-price contractor. As eBay allows bidders to enter a higher price for an item if they are outbid, a contractor can revise its bid if another firm offers a lower ..continue reading
CNN reports that Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, stated that the federal government made $98 billion (with a B) of improper payments in the 2009 fiscal year. That is a 37.5 percent increase over the $72 billion in improper payments in 2008.
These numbers are mind boggling. If the the total of these improper payments, a sizable percentage of which is believed to be fraud, can be eliminated it would more than pay for the health care reform costs.
President Obama is expected to issue an executive order in coming days to combat the problem.
According to Orszag the executive is to provide transparency, strengthen accountability and provide incentives to improve the government payment process.
Orszag also added that incentives in the executive order will reward states, local communities and other organizations for reducing improper payments and increase penalties for contractors that fail to report problems such as receiving double ..continue reading
The Financial Times reported today that unlike most other countries the TARP money that was used to bail out our financial system is turning a profit for taxpayers.
“The US government, by contrast, is sitting on a paper profit of almost $11bn on its 34 per cent shareholding in Citigroup, its only direct stake in a large financial institution.”
“The US authorities received more than 7bn shares in the troubled financial group at $3.25 apiece, after converting $25bn of preferred stock into common equity at the end of last month.”
“Since then, Citi’s shares have rallied, and closed on Friday at $4.70, increasing the value of the government’s stake by $11bn. That more than offsets the paper losses of all the other significant state interventions in listed banks – in the UK, Germany, the Benelux and France.”
“In spite of criticism of the bail-outs of lenders such as Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, the Treasury has ..continue reading