Lawmakers introduce bill to increase government spending accountability

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced legislation to increase oversight of taxpayer dollars spent by federal agencies. The Good Accounting Obligation in Government (GAO-IG) Act requires federal agencies to provide annual reports to Congress on the status of implementing recommendations from the Office of Inspector General (IG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

As of 2016, there were more than 15,000 open and unimplemented federal agency recommendations from the IG, with a potential savings of $87 billion. Currently, GAO has over 8,000 open federal agency recommendations. For years, federal agencies have neglected to act on these recommendations. The GAO-IG Act requires agencies to report on the status of such recommendations as part of their annual budget justification. This includes providing a timeline for implementation of outstanding recommendations, or providing justification for not implementing the recommendations.

“This bipartisan bill will help make our federal government more accountable and save taxpayer dollars - two things Hoosiers want,” said Senator Young. “Ensuring Congress has the information necessary to conduct effective oversight will lead to increased transparency for federal agencies and better service to taxpayers.”

“I’m glad to partner with Senator Young on a bill that gives Congress a powerful tool to hold agencies accountable and make sure they are working on behalf of American families,” said Senator Warren. “This bipartisan bill will make our government more transparent and effective – and save taxpayers real money.”

The GAO-IG Act expands on legislation previously introduced by Senator Young that prescribes the same accountability measures to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Education. 

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