CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, November 18, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 2061, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on May 21, 2013, by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote.
H.R. 2061 amends the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) of 2006 to create common standards for financial data provided by government agencies, and expands the amount of data that agencies are required to provide to USASpending.gov. Furthermore, this legislation would require Inspectors General at each federal agency and the Comptroller General to report biennially on the completeness, timeliness, quality, and accuracy of spending data submitted by each agency, and to require the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (Board) to develop mechanisms to enhance transparency, and detect and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in federal spending. The bill would require the Board to maintain a website dedicated to informing the public about ongoing activities to identify and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in federal spending.
Moreover, this legislation requires the Board to establish a pilot program within 90 days relating to the reporting by recipients of Federal funds in order to: (1) display the fully cycle of Federal funds; (2) improve the accuracy of Federal financial data; and (3) develop recommendations for reducing reporting required of recipients of Federal funds by consolidating and automating financial reporting requirements across the Federal Government. H.R. 2061 extends the termination date for the Board until September 30, 2017, and eliminates the Board’s responsibility for monitoring the expenditure of funds related to Hurricane Sandy Relief. Finally, the bill requires the Director of the OMB to make financial management status reports and government-wide five-year financial management plans available on the OMB website.
An Amendment agreed to in markup would create limits on travel and conference spending by each government agency, and would improve transparency by requiring each agency to post detailed information on any presentation made by any employee of that agency at a conference (with an exception made for national security reasons). The amendments would require each agency to submit a yearly report to Congress (FY 2014-2018) detailing their spending, including the impacts of travel and conference spending limitations.
Similar legislation passed the House in the 112th Congress by voice vote.
CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would have a discretionary cost of $395 million over the 2014-2018 window, assuming the appropriation of the necessary amounts. The amendment adopted in markup, would however, reduce the amount of discretionary spending an agency can spend on travel, which is expected to exceed the bill’s cost.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.