A bill (S-1378) designed to increase financial incentives for federal employees to blow the whistle likely would have little impact, the Congressional Budget Office has said.
The bill has passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and that is awaiting a full Senate vote.
CBO said that under current law, inspectors general of agencies already can pay bonuses to federal employees who identify waste, fraud, or mismanagement of funds. The bill would authorize agencies to pay bonuses to employees who identify unnecessary expenditures from amounts provided for agencies’ salaries and expenses.
Also under the bill, if an agency’s IG and its Chief Financial Officer agree that funds appropriated to the agency are no longer required, 90 percent of those surplus amounts would be transferred to the Treasury. The agency would retain 10 percent of the surplus funds and could pay a bonus to the employee who identified those surplus amounts.
“To the extent that the process envisioned under S-1378 results in fewer unnecessary expenditures, implementing the bill could reduce federal spending; however, CBO has no basis for estimating any reductions in spending under the bill,” its analysis said.