Other sponsors include Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and David Perdue (R-Ga.), also a member of the budget panel.
“This legislation will lead to better financial and performance data and increase accountability in government programs and operations. This will help improve government-wide financial management and ensure taxpayer dollars are safeguarded.”
Warner said, “This legislation will help boost financial accountability in our government by promoting consistency across agencies, making it easier for them to carry out long-term initiatives and planning, and empowering them to make more informed and strategic policy decisions through the use of performance data.”
- Standardizing CFO responsibilities across the entire executive branch.
- Providing deputy CFOs new authority to ensure continuity in agency financial management operations in the event of CFO vacancies.
- Revising and updating government-wide and agency-level financial management planning requirements to strengthen the links between spending decisions and performance data.
- Requiring development of financial management performance measuring metrics to gauge progress toward improving government efficiency.
- Strengthening internal controls to require agency managers to identify key financial management information and annually assess progress.
Congressional staff veterans offered cautiously optimistic assessments of prospects for the financial management reforms.
R Street Institute Vice President Kevin Kosar told The Epoch Times that “proposals to improve the government’s data and technology quality are not easily polarized. ... It also is the case that government systems often are glaringly in need of upgrading, and folks within the government are desperate for someone to help them improve things.” Kosar worked for a decade at the Congressional Research Service.
The bigger challenge Congress must face is the federal government’s $23 trillion national debt and the out-of-control spending by both major parties that produced it, Darling noted.
“With $23 trillion in existing debt and trillion-dollar deficits for years to come, there needs to be a bipartisan effort to reform and cut mandatory programs so the federal government does not go bust in our lifetimes,” Darling said.
Jim Manley, former communications director for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), noted that “as with many other aspects of the legislative process, urgently needed reforms to the budget process are not feasible right now, but at least some reforms might have a decent chance of getting enacted.”
Democratic campaign strategist Spencer Critchley said, “It’s good to see any handshake across the No Man’s Land that has been expanding since Newt Gingrich transformed Congress in the 1990s.”
Bill Bergman, TIA’s research director, said the reforms “may mean more work for executive branch agencies, but they owe it to Congress, and to us.”