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H.R. 71 (115th): Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act

H.R. 71 requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide more online information about the cost and performance of federal programs that exceed $1 million in budget authority, such as program activities, funding amounts, performance information on awards or other financial assistance, and program evaluations. Specifically, the bill requires the publication of the following information for each program in the inventory:

Aggregated, disaggregated, or consolidated program activities; Funding for each program activity for the current and prior two fiscal years; Statutes that authorize the program; Major regulations specific to the program; Information pertaining to grants or other financial assistance distributed by the program; Links to any evaluation, assessment, or program performance reviews by the agency, an Inspector General, or GAO released during the prior five years; and, The bill also requires the publication of the following information for each program in the inventory that exceeds $10 million in budget authority:

Funding for each program determined using the pro rata share of the program activities that are aggregated, disaggregated or consolidated, to the maximum extent practicable; Information required under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. The bill defines program as “an organized set of activities by 1 or more agencies directed toward a common purpose or goal.” The bill also requires OMB to annually publish the total amount of undisbursed grant funding remaining in grant accounts for which the period of availability to the grantee has expired. The bill directs OMB to prescribe guidance to implement its provisions no later than June 30, 2018, and requires implementation not later than June 30, 2019.

Last updated Mar 15, 2017. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 4, 2017.


(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act

(Sec. 2) This bill requires that the website of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) include a program inventory that identifies each program of the federal government for which there is more than $1 million in annual budget authority. Such inventory shall include: (1) any activity that is commonly referred to as a program by a federal agency, and (2) any activity that is referenced in law as a program after June 30, 2019.

For programs identified in such inventory for which there is more than $1 million and not more than $10 million in annual budget authority (smaller programs), the inventory must include:

an identification of the program activities that are aggregated, disaggregated, or consolidated as part of identifying programs; for each such program activity, the amount of funding for the current fiscal year and the previous two fiscal years; an identification of the statutes that authorize the program and any major regulations specific to the program; a description of the individuals served by a program and beneficiaries who received financial assistance under a program for the most recent fiscal year; and links to any evaluation, assessment, or program performance reviews by the agency, an Inspector General, or the Government Accountability Office released during the preceding five years. For programs identified in such inventory for which there is more than $10 million in annual budget authority (larger programs), the inventory must include:

an identification of the program activities that are aggregated, disaggregated, or consolidated as part of identifying programs; for each program activity, the amount of funding for the current fiscal year and the previous two fiscal years; an estimate of the amount of funding for the program; an identification of the statutes that authorize the program and any major regulations specific to the program; a description and estimate of the number of individuals served by a program and beneficiaries who received financial assistance under a program for the most recent fiscal year; a description of the federal employees who administer the program and other individuals whose salary is paid in full or in part by the federal government through a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or another form of financial award or assistance; links to any evaluation, assessment, or program performance reviews by the agency, an Inspector General, or the Government Accountability Office released during the preceding five years; and financial and other information for each program activity required to be reported under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006. The OMB shall: (1) archive and preserve the information included in the program inventory; and (2) not later than February 1 of each fiscal year, publish on a public website the total amount of undisbursed grant funding remaining in grant accounts for which the period of availability to the grantee has expired.

(Sec. 3) The bill requires the OMB, not later than June 30, 2018, to: (1) prescribe guidance to implement this Act, and (2) issue guidance to assist agencies in identifying how the program activities used in budget or appropriations accounts correspond with programs identified in the program inventory required by this Act. The OMB may: (1) issue guidance to agencies to ensure that programs are presented at a similar level of detail across agencies and are not duplicative or overlapping; (2) exempt from the requirements of this Act, based on an analysis of the costs of implementation, agencies that are not required to have a chief financial officer and that have not more than $10 million in budget authority; and (3) extend the Act's implementation deadline by not more than one year.

Implementation of the requirements in this bill must be completed not later than June 30, 2019.