WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch Wednesday joined with Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. and a bipartisan group of 18 additional Senate colleagues to introduce the “Taxpayers Right to Know Act,” a bill that would require every federal agency to produce an annual “report card” for each of its programs.
The bill requires each government program to be identified and described, including the total administrative costs of the program, expenditures for services, number of beneficiaries who receive assistance from the program, and an estimate of the number of staff who administers the program including contractor staff.
The bill is backed by a majority of members on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. A House version of the bill, authored by Representative James Lankford, passed late last month.
“Utah taxpayers have a right to know just exactly how their government is working – or, frankly, not working – on their behalf, and this bill will do just that,” Hatch said. “Government has grown at a rapid rate under President Obama, so this type of accountability has become even more important. Dr. Coburn has been a steadfast leader in bringing more accountability and oversight to Washington and I commend him for taking the lead in drafting this important bill and I’m proud to support it.”
In a hearing on government management held Wednesday in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, GAO head Gene Dodaro called for a comprehensive inventory of federal programs in order to enhance management practices and reduce fragmentation, overlap and duplication.
In addition to Hatch and Coburn, the bill is supported by Sens. Kelly Ayotte, Mark Begich, Richard Burr, Saxby Chambliss, Susan Collins, Ted Cruz, Mike Enzi, Jeff Flake, Jim Inhofe, Ron Johnson, John McCain, Claire McCaskill, Rand Paul, Rob Portman, Tim Scott, Jim Risch, David Vitter, and Mark Warner.
This bill would address the overlap and unnecessary duplication by also requiring the following: a listing of other programs within the federal government with duplicative or overlapping missions and services; the latest performance reviews for the program, including the metrics used to review the program; the latest improper payment rate for the program, including fraudulent payments; and the total amount of unspent and unobligated program funds held by the agency and grant recipients. This information would be updated annually and posted on-line, along with recommendations from the agency to consolidate duplicative and overlapping programs, eliminate waste and inefficiency, and terminate lower priority, outdated and unnecessary programs.
- The Taxpayers Right to Know Act bill was introduced April 09, 2013 and passed the House of Representatives on Feb. 25, 2014
Submitted by the Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch
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