Taxpayers could save as much as $43 billion if officials running the biggest federal departments would do what their internal watchdogs recommended in 2014.

That $43 billion would be about $27 returned for every dollar invested in the work of 14 of the 15 inspectors general overseeing White House cabinet-level departments. Together, the budgets of the 14 IGs amount to more than $1.6 billion, according to their semiannual reports to Congress.

Total returns on investment were calculated by adding potentially avoidable costs identified by the IGs to amounts actually recovered. Then, the total was divided by their annual budgets. The Department of Treasury IG has yet to release its report, so it was excluded from calculations for this article.

That’s up from about $21 per dollar invested in 2013, according to the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

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