Committee Approves Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce Waste, Unnecessary Duplication Across Federal Government

WASHINGTON– Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved legislation to increase the effectiveness of the federal government by giving Congress and agencies the tools to better identify and eliminate waste and inefficiencies in government programs. The Getting Results through Enhanced Accountability and Transparency (GREAT) Act of 2016 was introduced by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The GREAT Act will help Congress and the Executive branch better identify where unnecessary duplication could be eliminated and which government programs with similar missions could be coordinating more effectively. The bill would also help agencies identify issues that pose a risk to their operations. Specifically, the bill would hold agency leadership accountable for actions to address recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding waste, require federal agencies to look for opportunities to address issues of coordination and duplication and provide congressional committees with the information they need to better examine and address potential duplication, fragmentation and unnecessary overlap in government.

“This legislation, with its bicameral and bipartisan support, will put in place commonsense policies that will help federal agencies get better results for less money,” said Senator Carper. “GAO provides Congress information on where federal agencies can utilize taxpayer dollars more efficiently and effectively. It is now our job in Congress to use this information and take action where needed to eliminate waste and unnecessary duplication. This bill would help us to do just that by requiring federal agencies to actively seek out unnecessary duplication and holding agency leadership accountable for taking action to eliminate it. I thank Chairman Johnson, our cosponsors, and members of the committee for moving this legislation quickly. I look forward to getting this bill through the Senate and on to our colleagues in the House. We must give federal agencies, GAO, and Congress the additional tools they need to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

“Senator Coburn’s amendment to require the GAO to report on duplicative government programs was an excellent idea that the GAO now estimates will save over $100 billion in savings for the taxpayer,” said Senator Johnson. “This bill makes minor but important changes to the requirement that the GAO issue a report annually on wasteful, duplicative government programs. I’m pleased that this bill passed through our committee today, it is my hope that our colleagues in the Senate will join Ranking Member Carper and I in supporting this bill.”

A companion bill was introduced last month in the House by Representatives Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Ranking Member of the Oversight Subcommittee on Public Assets, and Steve Russell (R-Okla.), member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.