NTU Supports H.R. 4177, the Federal Government Spending and Accountability Oversight Act

The Honorable Katherine Harris
United States House of Representatives
116 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Harris:

On behalf of the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to endorse your legislation to establish an independent, privately-funded entity to review federal government administration and spending practices. By introducing H.R. 4177, the Federal Government Spending Accountability and Oversight Act, you have sent a strong signal to taxpayers that their tax dollars will be accounted for and that waste and inefficiency will be systematically identified. Your efforts are especially timely given the fact that federal spending has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.

The Federal Government Spending Accountability and Oversight Commission created by H.R. 4177 would have broad authority to report on ways to streamline the federal government and hold it more accountable. Among its many tasks would be investigating ways to increase administrative and managerial efficiency, reducing costs, highlighting outdated programs due for termination, and identifying federal programs whose objectives could be better carried out by the private sector. Furthermore, the Commission?s report would provide additional data regarding government spending, debt, and personnel management.

Establishing such a Commission would honor the legacy of President Ronald Reagan?s Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, otherwise known as the Grace Commission. The Grace Commission was made up of corporate executives, community leaders, and individual volunteers who devoted two years to discovering and exposing waste in the federal government. Their findings led to a report containing 2,478 recommendations that would have saved taxpayers $424.4 billion over three years (if all of these cost-saving suggestions had been adopted at once). Just as the Grace Commission was funded by voluntary contributions, the Commission proposed in your bill would be paid for entirely with non-federal money.

Moreover, the report produced by the Commission would also provide a comparative point of reference for the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) used by the Executive Branch to evaluate program performance. Just as private entities call upon outside organizations to audit performance and budget records, this Commission would help hold the federal government responsible to its financier ? the American taxpayer.

NTU strongly commends your sponsorship of H.R. 4177 and encourages your colleagues to support this taxpayer-friendly legislation.

Kristina Rasmussen
Government Affairs Manager