Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., is chief sponsor of the program inventory bill.

Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., is chief sponsor of the program inventory bill. Carlos Osorio/AP

House Clears Bill to Get a Better Handle on the Cost, Performance of Federal Programs

Chamber also approves measure requiring agencies to find and close out expired grant accounts.

The House on Monday passed bills aimed at boosting agency efficiency by creating a clearer inventory of federal programs and removing expired grant accounts from the books.

The Taxpayers Right to Know Act (H.R. 598) would require agencies to report detailed cost and performance information on programs to the Office of Management and Budget, which is already preparing a governmentwide program inventory.

“Without better data and reporting on where taxpayer dollars are being spent, billions more will be lost on duplicative, wasteful programs,” said chief sponsor Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., after the bill passed unanimously. “This bipartisan bill will help identify and streamline outdated and inefficient programs so we stop throwing away the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars.”

A Senate companion bill was introduced by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.

The House also passed Walberg’s Grants Oversight and New Efficiency Act (S. 115) on Monday, under suspension of the rules. The legislation would require agencies to identify thousands of expired grant accounts with a zero balance that should be closed out. A companion sponsored by Sen. Deb. Fischer, R-Neb., cleared the Senate in December; the bill now heads to President Obama’s desk.