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Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn garners support for transparency bill

The Oklahoma Republican pushes Senate version of bill by Rep. James Lankford to force an online inventory of government programs and expenditures.
by Chris Casteel Published: March 13, 2014
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— Sen. Tom Coburn, after rounding up bipartisan support from about 20 senators, introduced legislation Wednesday that would require federal agencies to provide detailed information annually about their programs.

The bill is a companion to one by Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, that passed the House last month.

Coburn, R-Muskogee, said the bill would require an inventory of government programs that doesn’t exist. Agencies would have to describe all programs, detail the amount spent on them and the number of beneficiaries and estimate the number of staff members, including contractors. The information would have to be posted online.

“Good-government bills like this are precisely what the American people want to see from Congress,” Coburn said.

“With at least $200 billion wasted on duplication across the government every year, Congress needs to demand accountability and transparency from the federal bureaucracy. Sadly, most agencies don’t even know how many programs they administer. This bill will change that by requiring agencies to document their programs and activities.

Coburn’s efforts praised

Lankford said Coburn’s work “to shed light on the vast amount of waste in the federal government is second to none ... I am proud to join him in his fight to reform federal processes, promote transparency in federal spending and eliminate federal duplication and waste.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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