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The U.S. federal government can save more than $1 trillion by 2020, while improving the services it provides to citizens and laying a foundation for future job growth and innovation, according to a new economic report released recently by the Technology CEO Council (TCC).
The research findings and recommendations in the TCC report, “One Trillion Reasons,” were shared this week with the Administration’s economic team by the council’s members, chaired by IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano, and submitted to National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that is considering proposals to reduce the federal deficit.
By harnessing proven applications of technology to reduce waste, decrease duplication and attack fraud and abuse, the TCC urges the U.S. to foster greater innovation in areas ranging from health care, to education and energy.
“Our report contains straightforward, proven ways to pare back $1 trillion from the deficit while increasing productivity and enabling sustainable competitiveness,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell. “We’re serious about helping to provide solutions for the mounting debt crisis, and we’re optimistic that changes today will help lay the foundation for future job growth and innovation for our country.”
Based on real-world expertise, technology and organizational changes that are already working successfully in the private sector, the actionable steps outlined by the TCC can be implemented across government immediately to reduce a nearly $700 billion annual structural budget deficit, improve government operations and the U.S. economy. For example:
· Green Data Centers - The federal government spends approximately $76 billion annually to support and manage its vast and widely dispersed information technology (IT) assets. Up to 30 percent of that spending could be saved by further reducing IT overhead, combining data centers, eliminating redundant networks and standardizing applications.
· Decrease Duplication - A $500 billion savings opportunity exists by consolidating the government’s myriad supply chains. This would also render the government’s procurement process far more transparent, helping to strengthen public trust.
· Stop Fraud with Analytics - An estimated $200 billion could be saved by applying advanced analytics technology to reduce fraud and errors in federal grants, food stamps, Medicare reimbursements, tax refunds and other programs. Analytics can transform these kinds of programs, making them more adaptive, responsive and even predictive based on the changing needs of citizens.
· Go Digital - Transitioning antiquated, paper-based processes to digital records management for federal forms would generate $50 billion in cost savings over 10 years.
· Consolidate Assets - The U.S. Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has identified 14,000 excess, and 55,000 under-utilized, buildings in the federal inventory. Mining the balance sheet aggressively and corporatizing certain federal operations, the federal government could save $150 billion over 10 years by selling surplus facilities and auctioning off others.
“Governments in the United States and around the world have made tremendous progress in the area of applying information technology to improve efficiency,” said Bruce Mehlman, executive director of the TCC. “Best of all, the solutions the TCC is proposing do not require new legislation – they can start today – leading to innovation and long-term economic growth.”
As some of the nation’s largest employers, Technology CEO Council companies generate $250 billion in annual revenues and employ over 700,000 workers. Founded in 1989 and formerly known as the Computer Systems Policy Project, its members include Mr. Palmisano; Mr. Dell; Steven R. Appleton, chairman and CEO, Micron Technology Inc.; Greg Brown, president and Co-CEO, Motorola Inc.; Paul Otellini, president and CEO, Intel Corporation; Michael Splinter, president and CEO, Applied Materials Inc.; Joseph Tucci, chairman, president and CEO, EMC Corporation.