Governmental Affairs Committee and Appropriations Committee Hold Joint Hearing on Government Accountability

Washington, DC — In a historic first-ever joint hearing of the two committees, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) today called on federal agencies to actively work for a smaller, leaner government by complying with the Government Performance and Results Acts (GPRA).

“This joint hearing sends a strong signal to agencies that Congress is working together and is serious about implementing the Results Act,” said Thompson.

The Act, designed to target wasteful spending and duplication in government, requires federal agencies to submit to Congress by September 30 strategic plans outlining program goals and how they will be met. Before that time, agencies are required to consult with Congress on those plans.

In prepared hearing remarks, Thompson said: “Despite having four years notice, agencies’ submissions to Congress so far have been sporadic. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Treasury have yet to give Congress their draft strategic plans. Of the plans we have received, with the exception of NASA’s plan, most are too general and all of them need more work.

“Recent public surveys have found that wasteful federal spending is the leading cause of low public confidence in government. The American people want value for their money — good service for the least amount of money. They don’t want a hollow government or one with grandiose missions that can’t deliver the goods. They want a smaller one that gets results.”

Testifying before the committee today were Franklin D. Raines, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); and John Koskinen, Deputy Director for Management, OMB. The OMB recently issued a report on the unpreparedness of agencies to meet GPRA mandates. The General Accounting Office (GAO) submitted written testimony.