Johnson Introduces Two Bills to Increase Transparency and Save Taxpayer Dollars
Washington D.C. – On Thursday, Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) introduced two pieces of legislation, the Increasing Transparency in Federal Audits Act and the Furthering Oversight in Expired Federal Grants Act, aimed at reforming and streamlining federal grant procedures. These bills aim to increase transparency in order to eliminate rampant waste, fraud and abuse in the federal grant system and save American tax dollars.
Rep. Johnson released the following statement:
“For the first time in decades, Congress is set to pass a balanced budget. American taxpayers expect and deserve to know where their hard-earned money is going and how it is being used. That is why I introduced legislation to improve federal spending accountability. To date, the federal government has issued more than $550 billion in federal grant awards, yet the taxpayer’s ability to ‘follow the money’ is regrettably low. This leaves the program susceptible to waste, fraud and abuse. My bills will increase transparency and save taxpayer dollars by pressuring federal agencies to close out unused grants. With a national deficit reaching $20 trillion, we simply cannot afford to act in this reckless manner any longer.”
Increasing Transparency in Federal Audits Act
This legislation seeks to further increase transparency by allowing the public to better track audits of federal grant recipients. To accomplish this, the bill amends the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA), to combine completed audits of federal grant recipients into usaspending.gov, which currently tracks federal grant recipients who receive at minimum $25,000 annually in federal assistance. Currently, all federal grant recipient audits are uploaded to an outdated resource via the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, an avenue not widely known to the public. By requiring all grant recipients’ audits to also be reported on usaspending.gov, the taxpayer can not only track who is receiving federal grant funding, but also access their audit information.
Furthering Oversight in Expired Federal Grants Act
This legislation extends the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency Act of 2016 (GONE), which requires federal agencies to report to Congress information regarding expired grants that have not been closed out and the balances of each, for five additional years (2018-2022). These expired accounts cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year. The bill further increases transparency by ensuring federal agencies are responsibly closing out inactive grants and have had no payment activity for an extended period of time, saving time and money.