U.S. House approves Rep. James Lankford's bill to require more public information about federal program costs

Legislation by Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford would require federal agencies to report how much they spend on the programs they administer and how many people are served.
by Chris Casteel Published: February 26, 2014

The U.S. House approved a bill by Rep. James Lankford on Tuesday that would require federal agencies to post detailed information on the Internet about the programs they administer.

The bipartisan legislation sailed through on a voice vote and now goes to the Senate.

Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, said the bill would lead to a centralized reference for the public — and Congress — to measure the true costs of programs and how many people are being served. Moreover, he said, people could track whether lawmakers were addressing areas of duplication identified by congressional auditors or the agencies.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., praised the bill, saying it would give lawmakers information unavailable now on the number of full-time employees working for the federal government under a contract or grant.

The bill builds on work by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, to identify duplicative programs across the federal government and to post details about government spending on the Internet.

A initiative by Coburn led to a series of reports by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ auditing arm, about duplication. The House passed a bill addressing one finding — that the government has 57 different job training programs with few, if any, metrics for success — but the Senate has not considered that legislation.

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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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