House Oversight Committee Approves Walker's GAO-IG Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) yesterday addressed the House Oversight and Government Reform on his legislation, H.R. 5415, the Good Accounting Obligation in Government (GAO-IG) Act. Following Walker's remarks, the committee approved the GAO-IG Act, paving the way for a vote on the House floor.
This legislation would save taxpayer money and bring needed accountability to federal agencies by requiring them to report on the status of Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Office of Inspector General (IG) recommendations in their annual budget justification. Walker introduced the GAO-IG Act in March.
“Right now, North Carolina taxpayers are having their hard-earned money wasted by federal bureaucrats who have been told how to improve and become more efficient, but refuse to follow recommendations,” Walker said in March. “That is unacceptable. This bipartisan legislation will make government better, more accountable, and save taxpayer dollars.”
The bill is a House companion to S.2276, introduced by U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
These changes represent potential savings of at least $87 billion for taxpayers as agencies will be forced to improve based on IG and GAO recommendations or will be required to provide justification for not implementing the recommendations.
As of 2016, there were more than 15,000 open and unimplemented federal agency recommendations from the IG and more than 8,000 open GAO federal agency recommendations.
Watch Walker's remarks and see a full transcript here and below:
"The Government Accountability Office and the inspectors general are the two best sources for recommendations to improve federal government operations. GOA and IG efforts help fight waste, fraud, and abuse, and promote effectiveness and effective executive agencies. GAO and IGs conduct audits and investigations, which often results in reports with recommendations directed to a specific agency.
"As of May 16, 2018, GAO has issued 1,566 products with 4,827 open recommendations.
"And since 2014, OIGs have issued over 8,900 reports with approximately 40,300 total recommendations. Now during the same time period, OIG has identified over 99 billion dollars in potential savings through their audits and investigations and associated recommendations. But those recommendations are only as valuable as the agency’s commitment to implement them.
"The GAO-IG Act requires an agency to report on the recommendations from their OIG and GAO within the budget justification to Congress. The agency must also report on the implementation status of each recommendation, and why they may have not been implemented fully.
"This creates a process in which agencies must take stock of their open and unimplemented recommendations. It is my hope that the increased transparency will cause agencies to work toward closing these outstanding recommendations.
"Congress can also use the new report to improve its oversight activities. This bipartisan legislation will make government better, more accountable, and save taxpayer dollars.
"I urge my colleagues to support the bill."