1) The budgeting process.
Currently, if it is not spent in that budget cycle you may not get the money back next year.
So, parts of the government will spend all the money to make sure they prove they need it next year.
Example: A soldier told me that he happened to be in a smaller training squad. And that the size varies every year. The squadron leaders order the ammo that uses up the entire budget. But, they also have to use up all the ammo.
After a training mission, when there was ammo left because they had fewer guys in the squad, what did they do? They had to take about 11,000 rounds of live ammo and fire it off. Then they could get the money next year.
Consider the problem if the budget was cut because in 2011 they didn't use it all. Then in 2012 they have a squadron to train with twice the number of people and they loose their money in 2012 because they had too much in 2011. Well, the way it moves creates a financial mismatch. The money may be too much, or two little at the time, and the way it is adjusted will cause people to waste resources, or not have enough next year.
Top priority for fixing government money... Allow groups to bank money that they don't need this year and then use it whenever they want.
What else does this solve? Consider you have a recession. Everybody flips out because it looks like whomever the President is, is spending like crazy because taxes paid to the government drops heavily.
Well, if different groups had money in their bank accounts that they did not spend... during a recession... maybe under the circumstance that their regular budget needs to be trimmed... they don't have to stop doing what they are doing. They have money in the bank.
It creates a more resilient government, cuts down on wasteful spending, and maybe if they build up a little in the bank they can think of important things to invest in that they couldn't do with just a little bit of money. And we might take some leaps forwards that way.
Bank money that is not needed. Keep budgeting levels the same next year.
We get great contractors, highly educated, who run in and do a good job. This is a large part of how government work gets done. The benefit is that it keeps the government a bit more flexible. It is easier to move contractors in and out than government employees.
But, what happens when a company that is contracted by the federal government reports that they have four people doing a job, when they only have one. And they bill for four people.
Well, lets just say I have heard of this occurring more than once and it needs to be looked into deeply.
Because out of the limited number of people who work for the government who have been close enough to tell me things like this... well, they all seem to say it!