Portman, Peters Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Streamline How Government Accountability Office Informs Congress About Unimplemented Recommendations

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the bipartisan Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act, which will require the Government Accountability Office (GAO), as part of its annual reporting to Congress, to submit a report listing unimplemented matters for congressional consideration and identify actions Congress can take to help agencies implement the GAO’s open recommendations.

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. This bipartisan legislation 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.

This legislation is the Senate companion to the House bill, H.R. 7331, which was introduced by Representatives William Timmons (R-SC) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA).

“Our bipartisan, bicameral Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act will streamline how the Government Accountability Office informs Congress of its recommendations and thereby save hard-working American taxpayers’ money,” said 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.”

“Recommendations from the Government Accountability Office that have not yet been implemented present missed opportunities for lawmakers and federal agencies to improve government accountability and effectiveness, as well as save taxpayer dollars,” said Peters. “This important bipartisan bill will improve lawmakers’ ability to conduct oversight of the federal government by streamlining access to critical information, analysis, and recommendations provided by the GAO.”

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