By Lisa Ackerman
A new analysis of government funding has revealed important findings showing there has been duplication of research funding. One report specifically addresses the spending of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC – 1.) I found this a bit ironic – isn’t that what a coordinating committee does, monitor spending of funds? Here is what the press had to say:
“The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee “may have missed opportunities to coordinate federal autism activities and reduce duplication of effort and resources,”
“In just the past two years, the Government Accountability Office has identified more than 1,362 duplicative programs accounting for at least $364.5 billion in federal spending every single year,” Sen. Tom Coburn Oklahoma Republican, wrote in a letter earlier this year. “In some cases, this unnecessary duplication results in taxpayers paying two, three, four or more times for the exact same function.”
It’s not a secret how I feel about the IACC. I have written about them many times on this blog (2.) I have not written a summary of the last IACC meeting because it was very disappointing. The contradiction in presentations of the committee and the pleas from the public were astounding–here is the proof (3.)
Even Autism Speaks found these findings concerning, which I found quite interesting (4.) Perhaps our government should consider a dirty word in politics: outsourcing. Autism is an enormous issue based on the epidemic increase that has occurred over the past 15 years (5.)
Funding is so hard to come by. While I understand why a small amount of duplication is warranted, we need to be diligent to make sure what we spend is spent wisely.
When we think of solving the major issues of our time, we don’t often arrive to the conclusion that the government will make it happen. I have witnessed three presidents over four terms do very little regarding autism and quite frankly, I am tired of waiting. It’s time a small group of focused citizens take matters into their own hands.
As we get closer to the reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act (CAA) of 2006, it is time for parents to consider – has the previous bill helped? Is your child with autism doing better because of the CAA?
TACA will be following closely the efforts in Washington DC in order to find answers for families living with autism. Stay tuned.
1) Autism Research gets federal aid not once but twice
3) IACC November 13, 2013 Meeting
4) Autism Speaks statement