Bipartisan Opportunities to Improve Government Accountability

November 29, 2022 | Dan Lips

This piece was originally published in the Federalist Society blog. In the recent election, Americans elected a narrowly divided Congress. That means that lawmakers will need to work together on bipartisan legislation if they want to address the nation’s challenges. With the highest inflation in 40 years and ballooning federal debt payments, lawmakers have a responsibility
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Congressional Appropriators Focus New Attention on Wasteful Spending

July 20, 2022 | Dan Lips

This piece was originally published in National Review. With interest rates rising, the federal government’s debt problem is about to get much worse. The Congressional Budget Office recently warned that rising interest rates, projected trillion-dollar deficits, and the ballooning national debt will cause federal spending on debt payments to “increase substantially.” The federal government’s interest payments are projected to
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A Bipartisan Vote for Good Government

July 15, 2022 | Dan Lips

This piece was originally published in The Hill. On Tuesday, Congress proved that lawmakers can still work together on passing good government reforms when the House of Representatives passed the Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act. The vote shows growing bipartisan support for addressing the nation’s fiscal challenges by using nonpartisan oversight to reform government programs.
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Strengthening Bipartisan Oversight by Expanding the “Rule of Seven” Statute

January 21, 2022 | Dan Lips

Empowering members to engage in bipartisan fact-finding has the potential to reinvigorate Congress’s oversight authority under the Constitution  Summary   Since 2019, the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress has developed a successful track record of passing bipartisan recommendations that are resulting in real changes to improve the way that Congress works. An October
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House Modernization Committee Passes Recommendations to Strengthen and Leverage GAO’s Nonpartisan Oversight

December 8, 2021 | Dan Lips

The House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress is building a track record of bipartisan success with nearly two-thirds of its recommendations from the 116th Congress being enacted to date. On Wednesday, the Select Committee passed its latest series of recommendations–including several proposals that would reform the way that Congress works with the Government
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Bipartisan Coalition Supports Open Courts Act

December 6, 2021 | Luke Hogg

Click here to download a PDF of the letter. Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley: We write to support your efforts to bring the Open Courts Act (S. 2614) to a vote before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 9. We have long appreciated your commitment to transparency in all branches of government, including
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GAO Saved Taxpayers $66 Billion Last Year

November 16, 2021 | Dan Lips

But Congress’s watchdog has the potential to do more to make government work better  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its annual Performance and Accountability report this week. The Comptroller General reported that the Congressional Watchdog agency’s work resulted in “about $66.2 billion in financial benefits—a return of about $93 for every dollar invested in
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Coalition Urges Senate Appropriators to Prioritize Article I

November 3, 2021 | Luke Hogg

Today, Lincoln Network and six other organizations and individuals sent a letter to Senate Committee on Appropriations Vice Chairman Richard Shelby and Senate Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch Ranking Member Mike Braun urging them to prioritize Congress’ policy making capacity and increasing its oversight capabilities. This letter cited the lack of proportional investment in the
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Bipartisan Senate Bill Highlights Congress’s Opportunity to Save “Tens of Billions”

September 29, 2021 | Dan Lips

The Hassan-Ernst bill would rescind $1.5 billion from a fund Congress terminated decades ago While Congress is focused on the debt limit and trillion-dollar spending packages, the  Government Accountability Office (GAO) continues to highlight opportunities for lawmakers and federal agencies to save “tens of billions” implementing the nonpartisan watchdog’s recommendations for reforming the government.  And
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Congress should know what federal agencies are wasting

September 14, 2021 | Dan Lips

Congressional leaders remain focused on passing the $1 trillion infrastructure package and answering the Senate’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution. But a  bipartisan effort is also underway that has the potential to save hundreds of billions of dollars over time by curbing waste, fraud, and abuse across government agencies.  In July, the House of Representatives passed
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Reviewing the Data: How GAO Saves Taxpayer Dollars

September 2, 2021 | Dan Lips

A review of nonpublic data estimating GAO’s financial accomplishments since 2002 In July, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2022 Legislative Branch funding bill—legislation that would provide $729 million for the Government Accountability Office, an increase of $68 million over the prior year’s funding level. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is Congress’s watchdog:
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Cost-Effective Policy Options to Help States Manage Growing Cybersecurity Risks

June 28, 2021 | Dan Lips

State and local governments are facing growing cyber threats. From ransomware attacks to data breaches, local governments are on the frontlines of the global cyber conflict that remains a top national security threat, according to the Director of National Intelligence.  Like all organizations, state and local governments have limited resources to manage cybersecurity risks. Nationally,
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Questions for Thursday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing On “Atrocities in Xinjiang: Where Do We Go From Here?”

June 9, 2021 | Dan Lips

On Thursday, the subcommittees of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be holding a hearing to examine the People’s Republic of China’s atrocities in Xinjiang. Senators will hear testimony from leading human rights experts about the ongoing genocide occuring in the region. In March, the State Department issued its annual report on global human rights
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Coalition Urges US Senate to Investigate American Tech Firms in China

June 1, 2021 | Dan Lips

On Tuesday, Lincoln Network and representatives of eight organizations sent a letter to Chairman Bob Menedez and Ranking Member Jim Risch of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee requesting a hearing on American tech firms supporting digital authoritarianism. The letter cited recent media reports about Apple’s business practices in the People’s Republic of China and the
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GAO’s Next 100 Years: Oversight, Insight, and Foresight

May 4, 2021 | Zach Graves

2021 year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). After World War I, Congress sought to control growing government expenditures and debt and created GAO to assess the legality and adequacy of government expenditures. Today, GAO provides critical support to Congress through its audits, legal opinions, and analyses that
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Former Comptroller General David Walker on GAO’s 100th Anniversary

April 29, 2021 | Dan Lips

In 2021, the Government Accountability Office is marking its 100th anniversary serving as Congress’s nonpartisan watchdog. Former Comptroller General David Walker led GAO from 1998 to 2008–initiating a series of lasting reforms to strengthen GAO’s value and return-on-investment for Congress and American taxpayers.  In a recent interview, I asked former Comptroller General Walker about his
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Recommendations to Strengthen GAO’s Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics Program

April 15, 2021 | Zach Graves

This post was co-authored by Zach Graves and Dan Lips. The FY2022 appropriations process is underway. While it represents a small fraction of overall spending, one of the most important challenges on Congress’s agenda is meeting the funding needs for the Legislative Branch, and providing resources for key support agencies like the Government Accountability Office
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How Can Congress Improve GAO’s Performance?

April 12, 2021 | Dan Lips

An Interview with Deloitte Analysts William Eggers and Steve Berman             The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issues more than a thousand recommendations to Congress and executive agencies each year to improve operations and increase fiscal efficiency. According to the Comptroller General’s annual estimates, the Congressional watchdog agency routinely achieves a return-on-investment of more than $100
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Modernizing Oversight of Federal Spending Could Save Taxpayers Billions

March 19, 2021 | Dan Lips

Days before Congress passed the $1.9 trillion emergency spending package, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a grim snapshot of the nation’s fiscal condition. CBO warned that the “growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private
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Why Congress Should Fully Fund Its Watchdog

November 10, 2020 | Dan Lips

An extra $76 million in funding for GAO could yield $7 billion in savings based on recent performance The lame-duck session is underway. As the clock winds down on the 116th Congress, lawmakers have a busy agenda for its final weeks–from considering a new emergency spending bill to NDAA and a December 11th deadline to
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How Congress Can Leverage GAO to Expand Taxpayer Savings

October 23, 2020 | Dan Lips

GAO’s Work Has Yielded $1.1 Trillion in Taxpayer Savings Since 1999. But Congress Can Do More to Leverage Them. The United States faces growing governance and fiscal challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the federal government’s limited ability to manage a national crisis. The Congressional Budget Office warns that the national debt will eclipse GDP
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Bipartisan Coalition of Senators Introduces Legislation to Protect Inspector General Independence

June 24, 2020 | Dan Lips

On Thursday, Senator Chuck Grassley and nine bipartisan co-sponsors introduced legislation to protect federal watchdogs’ independence. The “Securing Inspector General Independence Act of 2020” comes at a critical time of declining public confidence in government and demonstrates Congressional commitment to independent oversight.  in a recent article for The Hill, my former colleague Keith Ashdown and
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Congress Must Protect Federal Watchdogs

June 15, 2020 | Dan Lips

By Keith Ashdown, former Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee staff director  and Dan Lips, Director of Cyber and National Security Policy  President Trump recently fired several of the federal government’s most respected inspectors general–prompting a rare outcry of bipartisan criticism of the White House. Congressional Democrats were instinctively quick to condemn the president’s actions.
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A First Step to Upgrade “8-Track” Government Systems

April 22, 2020 | Dan Lips

Removing regulatory barriers to allow federal and state agencies to work together is a good start  Writing in the Wall Street Journal this weekend, Andy Kessler described how wasted tax dollars and outdated IT systems are hindering the nation’s ability to address the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to alarming examples at the state and federal level.
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Congress Can Save Taxpayers Billions By Using Data Science to Stop Improper Payments

April 7, 2020 | Dan Lips

By Maggi Molina and Dan Lips Congress faces major challenges in 2020—including the Coronavirus pandemic and addressing its significant disruptions to our way of life. With the Congressional Budget Office already forecasting trillion dollar federal deficits through 2030, lawmakers may have less flexibility to authorize new spending to address these problems. One way for Congress
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Senator Tom Coburn’s Government Oversight Legacy

March 30, 2020 | Dan Lips

Former Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) passing this weekend marked a rare moment of unity in this highly partisan era with an outpouring of tributes from liberal Sens. like Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and conservative senators like Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) praising their former colleague. Why? Read the rest of the article at The Hill.
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Five Examples of How Data Analytics Could Improve Government Performance

December 31, 2019 | Dan Lips

In a new op-ed in The Hill, Lincoln Network’s Garrett Johnson and R Street Institute’s Tony Mills explain why taxpayers should support strengthening the Government Accountability Office—pointing to the auditors’ estimated return-on-investment of $338 for each tax dollar spent in FY2019.  Since 2010, GAO has delivered hundreds of billions in taxpayer savings, including by identifying
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Modernizing Oversight to Improve Government Efficiency and Accountability

November 25, 2019 | Dan Lips

Government Watchdogs Can Use Data Analytics to Identify Billions in Taxpayer Savings While impeachment hearings and the 2020 election dominate the political headlines, several encouraging bipartisan efforts to reform Washington and improve governance are making progress below the radar. The result could be billions in taxpayer savings. This month, the House of Representatives extended the
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