U.S. Senator Mark Begich today joined several of his Republican colleagues in supporting a bill to eliminate duplication within the federal government by requiring "report cards" for every government agency.
"Alaska taxpayers deserve to know where their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent," said Begich. "This bill is a good way to increase transparency in our government and create accountability while we continue to tackle the national deficit on our way to full economic recovery."
The bill, the Taxpayers Right to Know Act, would require the government to identify and describe each program, including the total administrative costs, expenditures for services, number of beneficiaries who receive assistance, and an estimate of the number of staff who administer the program, including contractor staff.
This bill would also address overlap and unnecessary duplication by requiring the following: a list of other programs within the federal government with duplicative or overlapping missions and services; updated performance reviews for the program, including the metrics used to review the program; the latest improper payment rate for the program, including fraudulent payments; and the total amount of unspent and unobligated program funds held by the agency and grant recipients.
This information would be updated annually and posted online for public scrutiny. Agencies would also be required to provide recommendations on how to consolidate duplicative programs, eliminate waste and inefficiency, and end lower priority, outdated and unnecessary programs.