NATIONAL TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP TO BE LEADING SUPPORTER OF RESULTS CAUCUS

For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi
September 5, 1997 (202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – At a Capitol Hill news conference today, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) president Thomas A. Schatz applauded members of Congress who announced the formation of the Results Caucus.  The group will monitor federal agencies’ compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act, which CCAGW has cited as the most important management tool in decades.

“CCAGW will be the leading government watchdog working with the Results Caucus,” Schatz said.  “I am pleased that Congress considers implementation of the Results Act a top priority.  Finally there is a law in place which – if properly enforced – has the capability of holding federal agencies accountable and informing taxpayers about which programs are working and which ones are truly wasting their money.”

Many of the worst-managed programs have already been identified by the General Accounting Office including, the IRS’ tax systems modernization plan, which has wasted $4 billion in a failed attempt to implement a new computer system; Medicare, which estimates that fraud or overpayments account for 14 percent, or $23 billion of its cost; and Student Financial Aid programs, which spend on administrative functions nearly as much money as they give away.  The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation spent $1.13 million to give $2 million in scholarships, while the James Madison Fellowship Program cost $986,000 to provide just over a million dollars in student aid.

Signed by President Clinton in 1993, the Results Act requires all federal agencies to submit a five-year strategic plan by September 30 of this year.

The House of Representatives recently issued a report card to all agencies after examining drafts of strategic plans.  Based on a 105-point scale, the highest score was a paltry 62 by the Social Security Administration.  The Labor Department ranked last with 6.5 points, while the average was a dismal 29.9.

The strategic plans are just the first phase of the Results Act.  Beginning in fiscal year 1999, each agency will be required to submit an annual performance plan and follow it up with an annual performance review.  The goal is to provide lawmakers with reliable information about the actual results federal programs are achieving as well as ferreting out waste and identifying duplicative programs.

“There are currently 163 job-training programs and 35 programs that deal with food safety,” Schatz said.  “The Results Act will help to objectively answer the question which programs are working and which ones aren’t?  When that is answered, it will be clear which programs should be consolidated or eliminated.”

CCAGW is a 600,000 member lobbying organization dedicated to seeking enactment of legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.

 

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