(WASHINGTON) — The spending package passed by both the House and Senate this week includes provisions that will improve government transparency and strengthen oversight of the executive branch.
The Project On Government Oversight has been pushing for these reforms and applauds Congress for including them in this year’s funding package.
Two provisions in the bill will increase transparency into apportionment, the executive branch tool used to allocate funds as directed by Congress. With the enactment of this legislation, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be required to notify Congress when it is allocating funds and explain any conditions the executive branch is applying to the use of funds.
This bill also empowers agencies to tell Congress if they receive notice about funding that would delay or disrupt actions Congress has already appropriated funds for.
These provisions, which were included in the Protecting Our Democracy Act, will strongly reinforce Congress’s ability to conduct meaningful oversight of the executive branch and federal spending. This increased transparency and accountability will give the American people more insight into precisely how and when their hard-earned tax dollars are being used.
Additional provisions in the bill will improve protections for intelligence community whistleblowers, including provisions that create consistent protections for whistleblowers when they disclose mismanagement and that extend protections to cover more members of the intelligence community. The bill also includes a provision that clarifies that the inspector general community has sole authority when handling complaints of urgent concern from intelligence community whistleblowers.
“These provisions will strengthen checks against executive branch power and give the public greater insight into how the federal government spends their tax dollars,” said Liz Hempowicz, the Director of Public Policy at the Project On Government Oversight. “While Congress still has more work to do strengthen our democracy, several provisions in this spending package will significantly improve government transparency and accountability. POGO celebrates this step forward towards rebuilding public trust in our institutions.”