Congressman James Lankford (R-OK), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform, issued the following statement after holding a hearing Thursday morning that initiated a series of examinations on discretionary grants allocated by the Executive Branch to determine weaknesses in the grant process to improve oversight and accountability, ensuring taxpayer dollars are not wasted.
"The federal government has more than tripled grant payments in the past twenty years but with little accountability and oversight," said Congressman Lankford. "There are twenty-three federal departments and agencies that offered 1,670 grants last fiscal year but with little uniformity or transparency. These agencies have few requirements, resulting in tens of billions of dollars that are left untracked to guarantee these taxpayers dollars are spent wisely. This is the moment to bring light to the grant process to enforce accountability and bring competition into the process.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who testified at the hearing and recently released a report listing numerous problems with the grant process, issued the following statement.
"Today's hearing helped provide some long-overdue oversight of federal grant programs," said Senator Coburn. "I applaud my colleagues in the House for forcing this discussion. One recent report I authored identified nearly $3 billion that has been lost to waste, duplication and fraud through grants programs managed by the National Science Foundation. Recklessly wasting taxpayer money undermines the public's trust. At a time when our economic future is in question, it is up to Congress to restore the public's confidence with effective oversight and common sense cuts."