Press Releases

House adopts Sen. Mark Warner's legislation on gov't transparency and accountability

Bipartisan bill will be signed into law by the President

Dec 21 2010

UPDATE: President Obama signed the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act into law on January 4, 2011. 

Today, the U.S. House passed Senator Warner’s bipartisan legislation requiring federal agencies to identify their top priorities, publicly report program results, and identify ineffective and overlapping federal programs for possible consolidation or elimination.  The legislation passed the Senate last week by unanimous consent, and will now be sent to President Obama to be signed into law. 

Senator Warner’s bipartisan proposal, the first significant update of The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993, was co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and George Voinovich (R-OH).

“At a time of budget deficits and almost overwhelming national debt, this legislation requires several significant steps that will make government work smarter even as it requires federal agencies to aggressively look for more ways to save taxpayer money,” Senator Warner said.  “This legislation also takes a first step in supporting a key recent recommendation from the President’s fiscal commission to require better data to help us identify overlapping federal programs.”

Above, Senator Warner announces the Government Performance Results and Modernization Act on the Senate Floor. 

The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRMA) requires each agency to designate a Chief Operating Officer and a Performance Improvement Officer with primary responsibility for pursuing cost-savings through the improved analysis and coordination of duplicative programs. These officials would be held responsible for considering potential taxpayer savings through better coordination of administrative functions common to every agency, such as purchasing. 

In addition, the Warner legislation also requires federal agencies to post program performance scorecards on a single public website, on a quarterly rather than an annual schedule. It also sets an ambitious first-year goal of an overall 10-percent reduction in the number of little-used or outdated written reports mandated by previous Administrations and Congresses.  

“The federal government is not consistent in the data it collects, and we do not use the best tools and technology to analyze outcomes. In addition, we rarely follow-up and put the necessary accountability in place so that we improve services to the public,” Senator Warner said. “Taxpayers fund 44 separate programs in nine different federal departments that support workforce training, and we also pay for 17 separate initiatives across seven federal departments that deal with food safety.  We need a better system – a system that allows us to review the results of each program and evaluate its impact in addressing overall policy goals, whether it’s the important work of retraining people who’ve lost their jobs or ensuring the safety of the food we eat.”

Senator Warner currently serves as chairman of the bipartisan U.S. Senate Budget Committee’s Task Force on Government Performance. A former business leader and a co-founder of Nextel, Warner served as Governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006, working in a bipartisan way to make state government more effective, efficient and affordable. When Governor Warner left office in January 2006, Virginia was nationally recognized as the country’s “best-managed state” and the “best state for business.”