Kilmer and Timmons lead bipartisan legislation to improve federal government efficiency and save taxpayers money – The Suburban Times
Announcement from the office of Representative Derek Kilmer.
On March 31, US Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and William Timmons (SC-04) presented the Improving Government for the American Taxpayers Act – bipartisan legislation to encourage better implementation of US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommendations to help improve government efficiency and save taxpayers more money.
The legislation is co-sponsored by House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer, the chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations , Gerald E. Connolly, and U.S. Representatives Nancy Mace, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ralph Norman, Katie Porter. , Daniel Webster, Jake Auchincloss and John Rutherford.
GAO provides Congress, heads of executive agencies, and the public with factual, nonpartisan information that can be used to improve government and save taxpayers billions of dollars. In 2020, GAO’s work generated more than $77 billion in benefits for Congress and the American people, a return of approximately $114 for every dollar invested in GAO.
Despite this, reports released by the GAO with priority recommendations often do not see action from Congress or relevant agencies. WAG 2021 Duplication and Cost Savings Report identified 112 new actions that Congress and executive branch agencies could take to save money and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government programs and operations.
In 2021, as part of its work to improve the efficiency and transparency of government, the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (Modernization Committee) considered opportunities to strengthen government oversight – and on a bipartisan basis made recommendations to improve congressional support agencies. With respect to GAO, the Modernization Committee recommended that: “GAO should report annually to Congress on legislative options to address open priority recommendations.”
Based on this recommendation, the Improving Government for the American Taxpayers Act aims to improve the ability of Congress to act on GAO recommendations. Specifically, the bill directs the GAO to:
- Consolidate open priority recommendations into a succinct report to be addressed to Congress leadership and relevant committees organized by topic;
- Include in this report the length of time a priority recommendation has been open;
- Include estimated costs for priority recommendations not implemented and expected cost savings upon implementation;
- Identify any additional Congressional oversight actions that can help agencies implement open priority recommendations and address underlying issues, as part of its annual report to agency heads and relevant Congressional committees; and,
- Publicly post the above items.
“This bill is about making government work better and saving taxpayers money. The Government Accountability Office works tirelessly to identify areas in which to improve efficiency and save money. In fact, just last year they found 112 more actions that could make a difference to taxpayers. But that will only happen if Congress acts on these recommendations,” said Rep. Kilmer, who is chair of the Modernization Committee. “That’s why we brought in this bipartisan legislation to streamline the process and make the government work better for the people. I am grateful for the support of Modernization Committee Vice Chair Timmons, Oversight Committee Chair Maloney and Ranking Member Comer, Government Operations Subcommittee Chair Connolly and others.
“With the introduction of the Better Government for American Taxpayers Act, Rep. Kilmer and I are excited to show the importance of nonpartisan legislation and good government. It’s still possible. I also want to thank Chairman Maloney and Ranking Member Comer for joining us in this effort,” said Representative Timmons, who is vice-president of the modernization committee.
“I deeply appreciate GAO’s contributions to the oversight of the federal government through its rigorous analysis and recommendations aimed at improving government and saving taxpayers’ money,” said President Maloney. “This bill would bring much-needed attention to issues where Congress and federal agencies need to take action to provide more effective and efficient government for American taxpayers.”
“The work the GAO does strengthens congressional oversight and legislative efforts to improve federal programs. This bill will help raise the profile of GAO recommendations for Congress and make them a more available resource for the legislature as we strive to make government more responsive and effective,” said President Connolly.
“Few Americans approve of the work Congress is doing, and that’s a clear sign that we need to innovate,” Rep. Porter said. “The Government Accountability Office constantly identifies how Congress can make federal agencies more effective, but their suggestions are too often ignored. Our legislation will make it easier for Congress to implement GAO recommendations, save taxpayers’ money, and restore confidence in our government.
The legislation is supported by the Lincoln Network, Demand Progress, Issue One, the Partnership for Public Service and the Project On Government Oversight.
“The Better Government for American Taxpayers Act will save taxpayers billions of dollars a year and allow the federal government to better work on behalf of the American people by leveraging nonpartisan oversight from the Government Accountability Office. . Since 2000, GAO recommendations have generated more than $1 trillion in financial benefits for the government. But federal departments and agencies often take years to respond to these oversight recommendations to improve the functioning of federal programs. There are currently over 4,600 open recommendationssaid Dan Lips, policy manager, Lincoln Network. “By requiring the GAO to report to Congress how long recommendations have been open and what taxpayers could save if implemented, the Better Government for American Taxpayers Act will help Congress keep responsible federal agencies and save billions of dollars a year.
“Rep. Kilmer’s “Improving Government for American Taxpayers Act” gives teeth to Government Accountability Office recommendations to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in federal agencies,” said Daniel Schuman, Director of Demand Progress Policy. “The IG Act will create a consolidated, public list of GAO recommendations to agencies, an estimate of the costs for their promulgation, and track the time between the release of GAO recommendations and agency action.”
“One of the most important jobs of Congress is to ensure that federal agencies and programs are run efficiently and effectively serve the public,” said Max Stier, President and CEO of the Public Service Partnership. “The bipartisan Better Government for American Taxpayers Act will help Congress focus on areas that need oversight and follow through on vital GAO recommendations to make government work better. The Partnership for Public Service commends Representatives Kilmer, Timmons, Maloney, Comer, and Connolly for introducing this legislation to improve Congress’s ability to fulfill its critical oversight role. We are pleased to see that the recommendations of the Select Committee on Congressional Modernization are leading to a more effective Congress.
“The Better Government for American Taxpayers Act will provide Congress with the information it needs to oversee the federal government,” said Tim Stretton, director of the Congressional Oversight Initiative at Project On Government Oversight (POGO). “POGO commends Speaker Kilmer and Ranking Member Timmons for introducing this critically important legislation, and their continued efforts on the Select Committee on Modernization to make Congress more effective, efficient, and transparent on behalf of the American people. .”