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Fact Sheet: Achieving Greater Transparency and Accountability in Government

September 26, 2006

Today, President Bush Signed The Federal Funding Accountability And Transparency Act Of 2006 To Improve The Quality And Accessibility Of Information About Federal Spending. This legislation calls on the Office of Management and Budget to oversee a new website through which the public can readily access information about grants and contracts provided by Federal government agencies, except for those classified for national security reasons.

  • The Act Is Part Of President Bush's Ongoing Commitment To Improve Transparency, Accountability, And Management Across The Federal Government. The Administration has implemented a number of initiatives allowing American taxpayers to see how their tax dollars are spent and what they are getting for their money. Greater transparency has made programs more accountable for their performance and more responsive to the American public. Two of these initiatives include:

    • This website was established earlier this year to allow the American people to see how well Federal programs are performing. To date, the Administration has evaluated the effectiveness of nearly 800 Federal programs, representing over 80 percent of the Federal budget. Agencies and OMB post these candid assessments of Federal programs in jargon-free language on, so taxpayers will know which programs work, which ones do not, and what programs are doing to improve.

    • Since 2002, this website has provided detailed information on the President's agenda for improving Federal agency management. It also tracks agencies' progress in meeting their goals. Federal agencies are held accountable for developing and adopting better management disciplines under the President's Management Agenda. The status of agencies' management reform efforts is made public through scorecards updated on every quarter.

Transparency Produces Quantifiable Results

The President's Push To Publicly Provide Federal Program Performance Information Has Helped Make Agencies Accountable For Producing Results. Agency management improvement efforts are measured based on clear, transparent, quantifiable goals. For example:

  • With The Support Of Congress, And After Publicly Disclosing Clear Justification, The President Was Successful In Reducing Or Ending Spending On 89 Programs That Weren't Getting Results Or Serving Essential Priorities. This year, the President proposes to end or reduce 141 programs that are not achieving results or serving essential priorities, saving nearly $15 billion.
  • By Making Agencies Verify Payment Eligibility And Publicly Measure Accuracy, Improper Payments Have Been Reduced By $7.8 Billion, Lowering The Government-Wide Improper Payment Rate By 17 Percent.
  • By Subjecting Federal Government Activities To Competition From The Private Sector, The Federal Government Is Now Operating More Efficiently And Saving Taxpayers $900 Million Per Year.
  • By Creating An Inventory Of Property Held By The Federal Government, The President Has Been Able To Dispose Of More Than $3.5 Billion In Unneeded Federal Assets.

Transparency And Accountability For Spending Taxpayer Dollars - The Line Item Veto

In Order To Turn Information About Wasteful Spending Into Concrete Action, The President Needs The Line Item Veto. The House of Representatives approved Line Item Veto legislation earlier this year by a strong bipartisan majority, and the President calls on the Senate to do the same. The Line Item Veto would be a tool to further improve government transparency and accountability and ensure wise financial stewardship of taxpayer resources.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Achieving Greater Transparency and Accountability in Government Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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