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Roskam Helping President Keep Promise of Greater Transparency, First "Inaugual Amendment" Passes House

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) today successfully offered the first "Inaugural Amendment" on the House Floor to increase government transparency and accountability in an effort to help President Obama and Congress maintain a higher standard.

On January 20th 2009, President Barack Obama addressed the nation promising greater accountability in government, an increase in transparency and a priority of curbing wasteful spending programs.

Specifically, President Obama said:

"Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."

The President went on to say:

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works…where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end."

To that end, Congressman Roskam will challenge Congress to hold a higher standard, offering what he is calling "Inaugural Amendments" to ensure wasteful programs are cut and business is done in the light of day in an effort to restore the trust of the American people.

Roskam's amendment which passed the House today, will require all programs authorized under H.R.1262, The Water Quality Investment Act of 2009, be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). This is a valuable tool to review and rate the effectiveness of federal agencies and programs by assessing purpose, planning, management and accountability.

"In this new era of heightened transparency and accountability, taxpayers should be afforded a regular analysis of the performance of their federal government, and how their tax dollars are being spent," said Roskam. "I will continue to offer my inaugural amendments to ensure that the federal government is working efficiently for the American people. This is also a challenge to all members in Congress, as well as President Obama himself - a challenge to live up to the standard set forth in the President's Inaugural Address."

Programs that are PERFORMING have ratings of Effective, Moderately Effective, or Adequate

• Effective. This is the highest rating a program can achieve. Programs rated Effective set ambitious goals, achieve results, are well-managed and improve efficiency.
• Moderately Effective. In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
• Adequate. This rating describes a program that needs to set more ambitious goals, achieve better results, improve accountability or strengthen its management practices.

Programs categorized as NOT PERFORMING have ratings of Ineffective or Results Not Demonstrated

• Ineffective. Programs receiving this rating are not using your tax dollars effectively. Ineffective programs have been unable to achieve results due to a lack of clarity regarding the program's purpose or goals, poor management, or some other significant weakness.
• Results Not Demonstrated. A rating of Results Not Demonstrated (RND) indicates that a program has not been able to develop acceptable performance goals or collect data to determine whether it is performing.

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