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Cutting Costs

A new research report on what’s working in cost reduction


Competing priorities are slowing down federal government efficiency, according to a new study from the Government Business Council (GBC), sponsored by Deloitte. Just 29 percent of the federal managers surveyed give high marks to the efficiency of their agency, and 16 percent say the same about the federal government as a whole. Despite this, agencies across government are completing successful cost-reduction initiatives – and studying these efforts reveals techniques that focus group members say could be used to drive greater federal agency efficiency.

The report, “Cutting Costs: Inside the Effort to Improve the Efficiency of Federal Operations,” assesses the perceptions, attitudes, and experience of federal employees regarding government efficiency and cost reduction. The study is based on survey data collected from about 600 senior-level federal employees from the GS/GM level 11 through 15, the Senior Executive Service, and high military ranks, supported by focus group input and extensive secondary research.

Survey participants were asked to rank the efficiency of eight cost areas on a 1-to-5 scale, with 1 being least efficient and 5 being most efficient. By adding the scores and dividing by the total number of respondents, GBC calculated a mean value for each cost area and ranked them on a numerical scale.

Download the report for a deeper look into the ratings and the key facts that are relevant to each of the eight cost areas – payments, oversight and compliance, property management, redundancy, contract resource management, technology, workforce, and acquisitions/procurement.

Additional specific report findings include:

  • Various factors contribute to inefficiency, but competing priorities is viewed as the most significant impediment.
  • Of the respondents who find managing cost-reduction initiatives to be difficult, tracking the effectiveness of these efforts is the top challenge.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.


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