WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) today announced he has joined Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) in introducing the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, legislation designed to cut red tape and waste in federal grant and other assistance programs.
“As a strong believer in federalism, I am pleased to support this legislation, which will cut red tape and waste in federal grant and other assistance programs that impact state and local governments as well as non-profit organizations,” said Senator Thompson who, as Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, has been a leader in the effort to make government programs perform more efficiently.
The legislation has been endorsed by the National Governors’ Association, the National Association of Counties, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, and the Council of State Governments
Senator Thompson said the bill will improve the performance of Federal grant and other assitance programs by streamlining their application, administration, and reporting requirements for grant recipients. Under the bill, federal agencies, with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), would: develop plans within 18 months to streamline application, administrative and reporting requirements; develop uniform applications for related programs; develop and expand the use of electronic applications and reporting via the Internet; demonstrate interagency coordination in simplifying requirements for cross-cutting programs; and set annual goals to further the purposes of the Act.
Agencies would consult with outside parties in developing their plans and would submit the plans and annual reports to the Director of the OMB and to Congress, and they could be made a part of other management reports required under law. In addition to overseeing and coordinating agency activities, OMB would develop more common rules to cut across programs and would develop a release form to allow grant information to be shared across programs.
Senator Thompson noted that the Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate approved the legislation last year; however, it did not become law.