Coburn, Obama Call For Public Disclosure of All Recipients of Federal Funding
Taxpayers Can Find Out Online How Their Money Is Spent In Online Database
U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Barack Obama (D-IL) today announced the introduction of legislation that would publicly disclose all recipients of federal funding and financial assistance. The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590) will allow taxpayers to see how their money is being spent, Dr. Coburn said.
The federal government awards roughly $300 billion in grants annually to 30,000 different organizations across the United States, according to the General Services Administration. This bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to establish and maintain a single public Web site that lists all entities receiving federal funds, including the name of each entity, the amount of federal funds the entity has received annually by program, and the location of the entity. All federal assistance must be posted within 30 days of such funding being awarded to an organization.
"This public database will provide transparency to federal spending and will provide an important weapon taxpayers can use to hold the government accountable. The database also would help to reduce fraud, abuse and misallocation of federal funds by requiring greater accounting of federal expenditures," Dr. Coburn said. "Every citizen in this country, after all, should have the right to know what organizations and activities are being funded with their hard-earned tax dollars."
"At the very least, taxpayers deserve to know where their money is being spent," Senator Obama said. "This common-sense legislation would shine a bright light on all federal spending to help prevent tax dollars from being wasted. If government spending can't withstand public scrutiny, then the money shouldn't be spent."
Over the past year, the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management on which Dr. Coburn serves as chairman has uncovered tens of billions of dollars in fraud, abuse and wasteful spending, ranging from expensive leasing schemes to corporate welfare to bloated bureaucracy.
"This database would ensure such spending is better tracked and the public can hold policy makers and government agencies accountable for questionable spending decisions," Dr. Coburn said. "If enacted, this legislation will finally ensure true accountability and transparency in how the government spends our money, which will hopefully lead to more fiscal responsibility by the federal government."