This morning I attended the Presidential bill signing of the Federal Funding Accountability Act, more commonly know as the Coburn-Obama transparency bill. The bill signing took place in the Eisenhower Executive Office building (pic below).
The room was small, and was filled with bloggers, activists from government watchdog groups, capitol hill staffers and reporters.
The President told the gathered crowd that government spends”a lot of time and a lot of effort collecting your money. We should show the same amount of effort in reporting how we spend it.”
Bush was flanked by lawmakers who were responsible for helping pass the bill.
Here is one of the better pics of Bush, snapped by Mary Katharine who was sitting in front of me.
Finally, the signing…
Bush touted the bill and gave credit to the congressional sponsors whose hard work made it possible. Apparently a tip of the hat to the bloggers did not make the cut…but that’s ok. At least they were invited.
Also noteworthy, Bush used the opportunity to call for congressional passage of a line item veto. Not sure how the congressional Dems flanking Bush felt about that…
In the extended section is the White House fact sheet distributed at this event.
More photos here.
Achieving Greater Transparency And Accountability In Government
Today, President Bush Signed The Federal Funding Accountability And Transparency Act Of 2006 To Improve The Quality And Accessibility Of Information About Federal Spending. This legislation calls on the Office of Management and Budget to oversee a new website through which the public can readily access information about grants and contracts provided by Federal government agencies, except for those classified for national security reasons.
Ø The Act Is Part Of President Bush\’s Ongoing Commitment To Improve Transparency, Accountability, And Management Across The Federal Government. The Administration has implemented a number of initiatives allowing American taxpayers to see how their tax dollars are spent and what they are getting for their money. Greater transparency has made programs more accountable for their performance and more responsive to the American public. Two of these initiatives include:
· ExpectMore.gov: This website was established earlier this year to allow the American people to see how well Federal programs are performing. To date, the Administration has evaluated the effectiveness of nearly 800 Federal programs, representing over 80 percent of the Federal budget. Agencies and OMB post these candid assessments of Federal programs in jargon-free language on ExpectMore.gov, so taxpayers will know which programs work, which ones do not, and what programs are doing to improve.
· Results.gov: Since 2002, this website has provided detailed information on the President\’s agenda for improving Federal agency management. It also tracks agencies\’ progress in meeting their goals. Federal agencies are held accountable for developing and adopting better management disciplines under the President\’s Management Agenda. The status of agencies\’ management reform efforts is made public through scorecards updated on Results.gov every quarter.
The President\’s Push To Publicly Provide Federal Program Performance Information Has Helped Make Agencies Accountable For Producing Results. Agency management improvement efforts are measured based on clear, transparent, quantifiable goals. For example:
Ø With The Support Of Congress, And After Publicly Disclosing Clear Justification, The President Was Successful In Reducing Or Ending Spending On 89 Programs That Weren\’t Getting Results Or Serving Essential Priorities. This year, the President proposes to end or reduce 141 programs that are not achieving results or serving essential priorities, saving nearly $15 billion.
In Order To Turn Information About Wasteful Spending Into Concrete Action, The President Needs The Line Item Veto. The House of Representatives approved Line Item Veto legislation earlier this year by a strong bipartisan majority, and the President calls on the Senate to do the same. The Line Item Veto would be a tool to further improve government transparency and accountability and ensure wise financial stewardship of taxpayer resources.