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H.R. 3609 (112th): Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act


The text of the bill below is as of Dec 8, 2011 (Introduced).


I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3609

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 8, 2011

(for himself, Mr. Boren, Mr. Gerlach, and Mrs. Blackburn) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

A BILL

To provide taxpayers with an annual report disclosing the cost of, performance by, and areas for improvements for Government programs, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Taxpayers Right to Know Act.

2.

Requirements relating to annual report on cost of, performance by, and areas for improvements for Government programs

(a)

Requirement To identify and describe programs

Each fiscal year, for purposes of the report required by subsection (b), the head of each agency shall—

(1)

identify and describe every program administered by the agency;

(2)

for each such program—

(A)

determine the total administrative expenses of the program;

(B)

determine the expenditures for services for the program;

(C)

estimate the number of clients served by the program and beneficiaries who received assistance under the program (if applicable); and

(D)

estimate—

(i)

the number of full-time employees who administer the program; and

(ii)

the number of full-time equivalents (whose salary is paid in part or full by the Federal Government through a grant or contract or subaward of a grant or contract) who assist in administering the program; and

(3)

identify programs within the Federal Government (whether inside or outside the agency) with duplicative or overlapping missions, services, and allowable uses of funds.

(b)

Relationship to Catalog of Domestic Assistance

With respect to the requirements of subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2)(B), the head of an agency may use the same information provided in the catalog of domestic and international assistance programs in the case of any program that is a domestic or international assistance program.

(c)

Report

Not later than February 1 of each fiscal year, the head of each agency shall publish on the official public website of the agency a report containing the following:

(1)

The information required under subsection (a) with respect to the preceding fiscal year.

(2)

The latest performance reviews (including the program performance reports required under section 1116 of title 31, United States Code) of each program of the agency identified under subsection (a)(1), including performance indicators, performance goals, output measures, and other specific metrics used to review the program and how the program performed on each.

(3)

For each program that makes payments, the latest improper payment rate of the program and the total estimated amount of improper payments, including fraudulent payments and overpayments.

(4)

The total amount of unspent and unobligated program funds held by the agency and grant recipients (not including individuals) stated as an amount—

(A)

held as of the beginning of the fiscal year in which the report is submitted; and

(B)

held for five fiscal years or more.

(5)

Such recommendations as the head of the agency considers appropriate—

(A)

to consolidate programs that are duplicative or overlapping;

(B)

to eliminate waste and inefficiency; and

(C)

to terminate lower priority, outdated, and unnecessary programs and initiatives.

(d)

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Administrative expenses

The term administrative costs has the meaning as determined by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under section 504(b)(2) of Public Law 111–85 (31 U.S.C. 1105 note), except the term shall also include, for purposes of that section and this section, with respect to an agency—

(A)

costs incurred by the agency as well as costs incurred by grantees, subgrantees, and other recipients of funds from a grant program or other program administered by the agency; and

(B)

expenses related to personnel salaries and benefits, property management, travel, program management, promotion, reviews and audits, case management, and communication about, promotion of, and outreach for programs and program activities administered by the agency.

(2)

Services

The term services has the meaning provided by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and shall be limited to only activities, assistance, and aid that provide a direct benefit to a recipient, such as the provision of medical care, assistance for housing or tuition, or financial support (including grants and loans).

(3)

Agency

The term agency has the same meaning given that term in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code, except that the term also includes offices in the legislative branch other than the Government Accountability Office.

(4)

Performance indicator, performance goal, output measure, program activity

The terms performance indicator, performance goal, output measure, and program activity have the meanings provided by section 1115 of title 31, United States Code.

(5)

Program

The term program has the meaning provided by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and shall include, with respect to an agency, any organized set of activities directed toward a common purpose or goal undertaken by the agency that includes services, projects, processes, or financial or other forms of assistance, including grants, contracts, loans, leases, technical support, consultation, or other guidance.

3.

Amendments to catalog of Federal domestic assistance programs

(a)

Addition of international assistance programs

(1)

In general

Section 6101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(7)

The term international assistance has the meaning provided by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and shall include, with respect to an agency, assistance including grants, contracts, loans, leases, and other financial and technical support to—

(A)

foreign nations;

(B)

international organizations;

(C)

services provided by programs administered by any agency outside of the territory of the United States; and

(D)

services funded by any agency provided in foreign nations or outside of the territory of the United States by non-governmental organizations and entities.

(8)

The term assistance program means each of the following:

(A)

A domestic assistance program.

(B)

An international assistance program.

.

(2)

Conforming amendments

(A)

Section 6102 of title 31, Untied States Code, is amended—

(i)

in subsection (a), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking domestic both places it appears; and

(ii)

in subsection (b), by striking domestic.

(B)

Section 6104 of such title is amended—

(i)

in subsections (a) and (b), by inserting and international assistance after domestic assistance each place it appears; and

(ii)

in the section heading, by inserting and international after domestic.

(b)

Additional information required To be included catalog

Section 6104(b) of title 31, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (2);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (3) and inserting a semicolon; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

(4)

the information required in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (b) of the Taxpayers Right to Know Act;

(5)

the budget function or functions applicable to each assistance program contained in the catalog;

(6)

with respect to each assistance program in the catalog, an electronic link to the annual report required by section 2(b) of the Taxpayers Right to Know Act by the agency that carries out the assistance program; and

(7)

the authorization and appropriation amount provided by law for each assistance program in the catalog in the current fiscal year, and a notation if the program is not authorized in the current year, has not been authorized in law, or does not receive a specific line item appropriation.

.

(c)

Report related to compliance with catalog requirements

Section 6104 of title 31, United States Code, is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

Compliance

On the website of the catalog of Federal domestic and international assistance information, the Administrator shall provide the following:

(1)

Contact information

The title and contact information for the person in each agency responsible for the implementation, compliance, and quality of the data in the catalog.

(2)

Report

An annual report compiled by the Administrator of domestic assistance programs, international assistance programs, and agencies with respect to which the requirements of this chapter are not met.

.

(d)

Bulk downloads of data

Section 6103 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(d)

Bulk downloads

The information in the catalog of domestic and international assistance under section 6104 of this title shall be available on a regular basis through bulk downloads from the website of the catalog.

.

(e)

Revision to agency definition

Section 6101(2) of such title is amended by inserting before the period at the end the following: except such term also includes offices in the legislative branch other than the Government Accountability Office.

4.

Regulations and implementation

(a)

Regulations

Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall prescribe regulations to implement this Act.

(b)

Implementation

This Act shall be implemented beginning with the first full fiscal year occurring after the date of the enactment of this Act.