Broadcasting Board of Governors: Additional Steps Needed to Address Overlap in International Broadcasting

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Nearly two-thirds of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) language services--offices that produce content for particular languages and regions-- overlap with another BBG service by providing programs to the same countries in the same languages. GAO identified 23 instances of overlap involving 43 of BBG's 69 services. For example, in 8 instances involving 16 services, a Voice of America service and a Radio Free Asia service overlapped. Almost all overlapping services also broadcast on the same platform (i.e., radio or television). BBG officials noted that some ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. January 29, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Nearly two-thirds of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) language services--offices that produce content for particular languages and regions-- overlap with another BBG service by providing programs to the same countries in the same languages. GAO identified 23 instances of overlap involving 43 of BBG's 69 services. For example, in 8 instances involving 16 services, a Voice of America service and a Radio Free Asia service overlapped. Almost all overlapping services also broadcast on the same platform (i.e., radio or television). BBG officials noted that some overlap may be helpful in providing news from various sources in countries of strategic interest to the United States; however, they acknowledged that overlap reduces the funding available for broadcasts that may have greater impact. BBG budget information indicates that BBG spent approximately $149 million in fiscal year 2011 to maintain language services broadcasting in the same countries and languages--nearly 20 percent of its total appropriations. However, BBG has not estimated the potential savings and efficiencies from reducing unnecessary overlap. Further, BBG's annual language service review--its primary means of prioritizing broadcast languages and planning resource allocations--does not systematically consider the cost and impact of overlap. As a result, BBG may be missing opportunities to reduce overlap as appropriate, strengthen impact, and improve BBG entity coordination."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • January 29, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Broadcasting Board of Governors: Additional Steps Needed to Address Overlap in International Broadcasting, report, January 29, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302304/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.