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Walberg, Lawrence Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Close Expired Grants, Save Taxpayer Dollars

July 16, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07) and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) introduced the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act today, bipartisan legislation to increase government accountability and crack down on wasteful spending. H.R. 3089 would require federal agencies to close out thousands of expired grants and accounts with a zero balance.

"Spending taxpayer dollars on expired and empty accounts is the definition of government waste. Fiscal mismanagement is sadly far too common in Washington, but this bipartisan legislation takes common sense steps to ensure a more effective use of taxpayer resources," said Walberg.

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled: "Grants Management: Action Needed to Improve the Timeliness of Grant Closeouts by Federal Agencies."  The GAO report evaluated the grant closeout process, and detailed the taxpayer costs for delays of expired grant accounts.

Key highlights from the GAO report:

  • More than $794 million in funding remains in expired grant accounts—accounts that were more than 3 months past the end date and had no activity for 9 months or more.
  • There are 28,000 expired grant accounts in the Payment Management System with no undisbursed balances remaining.  Agencies are charged monthly service fees all open accounts regardless of balance. According to GAO, this equals about $173,000 in monthly service fees for accounts with zero funds available—roughly $2 million annually in service fees.
Click here for the text of H.R. 3089. Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have also introduced the GONE Act, S. 1115, in the Senate.