Summary: S.282 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (06/24/2015)

Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act

(Sec. 2) Revises requirements for providing information about federal programs to increase taxpayer understanding of the cost and performance of such programs. Defines "program," for purposes of this Act, as an organized set of activities by one or more agencies directed toward a common purpose or goal.

Requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to include on its website a program inventory that identifies each program of the federal government for which there is more than $1 million in annual budget authority, which shall include: (1) any activity that is commonly referred to as a program by a federal agency in communications with Congress, including any activity identified as a program in a budget request; (2) any activity that is commonly referred to as a program by a federal agency in communications with the public, including each program for which financial awards are made on a competitive basis; and (3) any activity specifically referenced in law as a program after June 30, 2018.

Requires, for each program identified in such inventory:

  • an identification of the program activities that are aggregated, disaggregated, or consolidated as part of identifying programs;
  • the amount of funding for program activities for the current fiscal year and previous two fiscal years;
  • to the maximum extent practicable, the amount of funding for each program using the pro rata share of the program activities that are aggregated, disaggregated, or consolidated as part of identifying programs;
  • an identification of the statutes that authorize the program and any major regulations specific to the program;
  • a description and estimate of the number of individuals served by a program and beneficiaries who received financial assistance under a program;
  • a description of the federal employees who administer the program and other individuals whose salary is paid in part or full by the federal government through a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or another form of financial award or assistance;
  • links to any evaluation, assessment, or program performance reviews by the agency, an Inspector General, or the Government Accountability Office released during the preceding five years; and
  • financial information for each program required to be reported under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.

Requires OMB: (1) after the end of each fiscal year, to archive and preserve the information included in the program inventory relating to that fiscal year; and (2) not later than February 1 of each fiscal year, to publish on a public website the total amount of undisbursed grant funding remaining in grant accounts for which the period of availability to the grantee has expired.

(Sec. 3) Requires OMB, not later than June 30, 2017, to: (1) prescribe guidance for implementing this Act, and (2) issue guidance to assist agencies in identifying how the program activities used in budget or appropriations accounts correspond with programs identified in the program inventory required by this Act.

Authorizes OMB: (1) to issue guidance to agencies on how to more closely align programs in the program inventory for purposes of the budget submission of the President to Congress, and (2) after providing notification to Congress, to exempt from the requirements of this Act agencies that are not required to have a chief financial officer and that have less than $10 million in budget authority.

Requires the amendments made by this Act to be implemented not later than June 30, 2018, but allows OMB to extend such deadline by not more than one year based on an analysis of the costs of implementation.