Senate Passes Bill Mandating More Accountability & Cost-Savings Across Federal Agencies

Press Release

By:  Daniel Akaka, Sr. Tom Carper Joe Lieberman Susan Collins Mark Warner George Voinovich
Date: Dec. 16, 2010
Location: Washington, DC

Recently Introduced by Sens. Carper, Warner, Akaka; Bill now goes to the House

Today, the Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to make government work better by requiring every federal agency to set clear performance goals that can be accurately measured and publicly reported to Congress and taxpayers in a more transparent way. The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act (S.3853) recently introduced by U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI), passed the Senate as part of H.R. 2142. It establishes a clear framework to identify overlapping federal programs and requires more focused efforts to identify potential taxpayer savings. This legislation, the first significant update of The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993, is co-sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and George Voinovich (R-OH). The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

"I'd like to thank my colleagues in the Senate for recognizing the importance of this bipartisan bill," said Sen. Carper, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management. "Today we face unparalleled challenges both here and abroad, and these require a knowledgeable and nimble federal government that can respond effectively. With concerns growing over the mounting federal deficit and national debt, the American people deserve to know that every dollar they send to Washington is being used to its utmost potential. This legislation will go a long way in improving the performance and efficiency of the federal government and bringing the results our nation demands. I will work with my colleagues in the House to see to the bill's passage."

"At a time of budget deficits and crippling national debt, the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act takes several significant steps to make the federal government work smarter and look for ways to save taxpayer money," said Sen. Warner. "This legislation also takes a first step in supporting a key recommendation from the President's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to increase reporting on government-wide cross-cutting priorities, require agencies to identify low priorities and provide new data to identify duplicative federal programs. I urge the House to take action immediately."

"Congress has a responsibility to make sure federal agencies use taxpayer dollars wisely while carrying out their critical missions," said Sen. Akaka, chairman of the subcommittee which oversees government management. "This legislation will strengthen GPRA to require that the federal government adopt a more strategic and crosscutting approach towards improving performance."

"We in government are obligated to assure the taxpayers that their government is being managed as efficiently as it can be and achieving its goals," said Sen. Lieberman. "This is even more critical in times of economic distress and vast budget deficits. The reforms contained in this bill will help federal agencies plan, measure, and report their outcomes, and thus the legislation goes to the heart of improving agency performance and holding agencies accountable for attaining measurable results."

"Improving the effectiveness of government programs must always be a priority," said Sen. Collins. "But the importance of this issue is particularly relevant when our economy is struggling and the government must tighten its fiscal belt. Taking a page from the private sector, our bill requires agencies to appoint a chief operating officer to manage the development and effectiveness of government programs. This legislation would increase the transparency of government priorities, goals, and plans, and help ensure that these strategic efforts are not a feckless paperwork exercise but meaningful tools to promote efficiency and effectiveness in day-to-day operations."

"In these economic times, we need to challenge agencies to work harder and smarter and do more with less. This bill delivers the tools agencies need to spend less time writing redundant reports and more time developing and implementing performance goals," said Sen. Voinovich, ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia. "The reforms in this bill, including the designation of performance improvement officers and the Performance Improvement Council, will ensure that agencies are focused on fulfilling their missions and delivering value for taxpayers."

The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRMA) requires each agency to designate a Chief Operating Officer and a Performance Improvement Officer, with the primary responsibility for pursuing cost-savings through the improved analysis and coordination of duplicative programs. These officials also would be held responsible for considering taxpayer savings through better coordination of administrative functions common to every agency, including purchasing.

The legislation requires federal agencies to post performance data on a single public website on a quarterly, rather than a yearly, schedule. It also sets an ambitious first-year goal of an overall 10-percent reduction in the cumulative number of little-used or outdated reports mandated by previous Administrations and Congresses.