A bipartisan group of senators, led by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., is calling on the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to make a list of all federal programs publicly available on a central government-wide website in order to identify and eliminate program waste and duplication.
Providing a comprehensive list of these federal programs “is critical to helping Congress make informed budgetary decisions and ensuring that we are able to identify – and take appropriate steps to eliminate – duplication, fragmentation, and overlap in federal programs,” the senators wrote. This list “is a key component of ongoing efforts to improve the federal budgeting process, including by better incorporating performance metrics into budget decision-making.”
The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 requires OMB to issue guidance to agencies for implementing the inventory requirement and identifying information about each program for publication. An initial program inventory published by OMB in May 2013 had 1,524 programs, but in October 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the 2013 effort had fallen short. GAO made a number of recommendations to OMB to update relevant guidance, develop a more coherent picture of all federal programs and better ensure information is useful for decision makers. These recommendations remain open.
The senators specifically want to know OMB’s strategy and timeline for the program inventory. They also are requesting information about the process OMB is using in its approach to developing a federal program inventory.
In addition to Enzi and Lankford, the group included U.S. Senators John Kennedy, R-La., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, David Perdue, R-Ga., Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Pat Toomey, R-Penn., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Mark Warner, D-Va., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
Read the full letter here.