U.S. Sen. David Vitter today introduced the Fiscal Accountability and Transparency in Infrastructure Spending Act of 2011, which will save taxpayer money by incorporating common sense budgeting practices.
"Congress needs to get serious about reducing federal spending on all fronts so we can get on a different, more sustainable fiscal path," Vitter said. "Louisiana has many vital infrastructure projects, and my bill would help make sure their budgets are open and transparent so that taxpayer money is not wasted."
The Fiscal Accountability and Transparency in Infrastructure Spending Act of 2011 would improve accountability and transparency by requiring a life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) which accounts for the direct and indirect costs incurred in initial construction, maintenance, and repair over a 50-year life-cycle window whenever the federal cost share exceeds $5 million.
The bill also creates competition with the design and bidding process and ensures that the most cost-effective project designs are considered for final selection. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development have estimated this method received bids at nine percent below estimates, while other project bids were about 20 percent above estimates.
The bill also requires the use of a design guide that utilizes structural engineering inputs for regional differences. The guide will help save costs and result in infrastructure projects that last longer and require less maintenance.