Washington, D.C. – Today, bipartisan lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced legislation to increase the effectiveness of the federal government by giving Congress and agencies the tools to better measure and manage waste and inefficiencies in government programs. The Getting Results through Enhanced Accountability and Transparency (GREAT) Act of 2016 was introduced in the Senate by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and in the House by Representatives Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Ranking Member of the Oversight Subcommittee on Public Assets, and Steve Russell (R-Okla.), member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The GREAT Act will help Congress better identify where unnecessary duplication could be eliminated and which government programs with similar missions could be coordinating more efficiently. Specifically, the bill would hold agency leadership accountable for actions to address recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding waste, require federal agencies to look for opportunities to address issues of coordination and duplication, and provide congressional committees with the information they need to better manage duplication, fragmentation, and unnecessary overlap in government.
“This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would put in place commonsense policies that will help federal agencies get better results for less money,” said Sen. Carper. “GAO provides Congress information on where federal agencies can utilize taxpayer dollars more efficiently and effectively. It is now our job in Congress to use this information and take action where needed to eliminate waste and unnecessary duplication. This bill would help us to do just that by requiring federal agencies to actively seek out unnecessary duplication and holding agency leadership accountable for taking action to eliminate it. I encourage my colleagues in the House and Senate to act on this legislation quickly and give federal agencies, GAO, and Congress the additional tools they need to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
“Senator Coburn’s amendment to require the GAO to report on duplicative government programs was an excellent idea that the GAO now estimates will save over $100 billion in savings for the taxpayer,” said Sen. Johnson. “I’m pleased to join Ranking Member Carper in making minor but important updates to the requirement that the GAO issue a report annually on wasteful, duplicative government programs.”
“The American people need accountability and transparency in their government to have any degree of confidence that their tax dollars are being spent wisely,” said Rep. Duckworth. “Our bipartisan GREAT Act will help ensure that federal agencies have the authorities and tools necessary to cut waste and government duplication, enhance coordination and—most importantly—save taxpayer dollars.”
“I applaud the GAO’s work to hold the federal government accountable. The GAO made some great suggestions, and we should take them to heart,” said Rep. Russell, author of the Waste Watch series. “As we look to find ways to cut and reshape our federal budget we can increase efficiency by cutting duplication. The GREAT Act will do that by providing Congress with more information and pressure the Executive Branch to take action to reduce overlaps and redundancies. Our rising debt is a national security risk, and this measure is a great bipartisan plan to help decrease our yearly national debt.”