WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) to require the Government Accountability Office (GAO), as part of its annual reporting to Congress, to submit a report listing unimplemented recommendations for congressional consideration and identify actions Congress can take to help agencies implement open recommendations from the GAO that can often help Congress improve government efficiency and save taxpayer dollars. The GAO, through its individual reports and Recommendations Database, provides information on unimplemented recommendations, but under current reporting requirements, does not submit a report consolidating and listing all unimplemented matters for congressional consideration, nor do their current annual letters to committees list actions Congress can take to help agencies implement open GAO recommendations.
“Information, analysis, and recommendations from the Government Accountability Office are critical to lawmakers’ efforts to improve how the federal government works for the American people,” said Senator Peters. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure Congress is properly informed of unimplemented recommendations that can help ensure taxpayer dollars are used effectively and efficiently.”
“I applaud the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for advancing our bipartisan, bicameral Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act to streamline how the Government Accountability Office informs Congress of its recommendations and thereby save hard-working American taxpayers’ money,” said Senator Portman. “Congress must be made aware of open recommendations to ensure our federal government is working quickly and efficiently for American taxpayers. This common-sense legislation will help to ensure that Americans are given the transparency and accountability they deserve from their federal government.”
The Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act will streamline how the GAO informs Congress of the status of unimplemented recommendations by requiring the GAO to submit an annual report listing unimplemented matters for congressional consideration, organized by policy topic, and including the amount of time the recommendations have been unimplemented. It also requires that the GAO’s annual letters to agencies and congressional committees identify congressional actions that can help agencies implement open GAO recommendations and publish any known costs of unimplemented recommendations.