A Senate report calls for greater transparency by agencies on their compliance with audit and investigative recommendations, saying that more than 15,200 recommendations from IG offices and more than 4,800 from the GAO remain open, involving potential cost savings of more than $87 billion.
The bill (S-2276), approved by the Governmental Affairs and Homeland Security Committee and ready for a floor vote, would require agencies to report on outstanding recommendations in their annual budget justification to Congress.
“While both GAO and the OIGs report on open and unimplemented recommendations, agencies are not required to do so. By disclosing open recommendations and being required to explain the lack of implementation in an agency’s budget request, agencies will be held more accountable for unimplemented recommendations and Congress and the public can more readily scrutinize an agency’s funding request in light of unfulfilled efficiency improvements that may yield cost savings,” the report says.
The bill also would extend from 60 to 180 days the period for agencies to provide statements to Congress on a GAO report pertaining to the agency. That would allow agencies “more time to plan substantive action in response to GAO’s recommendations and will result in responses that are more useful to congressional committees and GAO in following up on agencies’ implementation of the recommendations,” the report says.