Lankford Pushes for Swift Implementation of His Government Transparency Bill

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing entitled, “GAO’s 2021 High Risk List: Addressing Waste, Fraud, and Abuse.” Lankford focused his questions on the completion of the US Census and updates on telework and remote working for federal employees. Lankford also raised his Taxpayers-Right-to-Know Act, which became law after a decade of advocating for transparency in US federal agencies for Americans. Lankford asked for an update on how quickly it can be implemented. 

In November, Lankford chaired a hearing on the lessons learned from the federal telework process during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also introduced a bipartisan bill in August to maximize telework flexibility for federal agencies

Comptroller General of the United States for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Eugene L. Dodaro testified.   


On Taxpayers-Right-to-Know Act implementation: 

Lankford: …each year we’ve talked about the Taxpayers Right-to-Know and each year you have said ‘we really need that if we’re going to get accurate information and we’re going to be able to get it to Congress fast.’ Well guess what? In December we finally passed that bill that I’ve been working on for a decade. …It is now going through the process at OMB and then will be coming to you. What do you anticipate for the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act that bill. What do you need from it first?”

Dodaro: Well, first we need unequivocal commitment from OMB to implement it properly. There have been previous bills that have been passed, the Government Performance Results Act, we still don’t have results. We still don’t have a complete program inventory even though that law passed 10-years ago now. The Modernization Act—they committed to in the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, the DATA Act—them and Treasury. They made good headway. It was a good partnership and that’s coming along. So we need that commitment. …I’m going to engage right away and try to build in. That’s what we did on the DATA Act right from the beginning. I plan to be very engaged in that. So I want to offer my congratulations to you on getting that legislation passed because I think it’s a great accomplishment for you and for the country. I think it will yield tremendous results, if implemented properly.

Lankford: …we’ll stay on top of that for implementation as well. So I appreciate the partnership to be able to help get that done. It doesn’t help anyone if it’s sitting on the shelf somewhere and they’re thinking about it.