Bipartisan provision to reduce duplicative green building programs gets Senate approval
Washington, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — A bipartisan provision backed by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill requiring the federal government to cut waste and evaluate and consolidate duplicative green building programs passed the Senate today as part of a wide-spanning energy bill.
“It’s a win for taxpayers any time we can ensure the government is working smarter,” said McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor and senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “It makes no sense to duplicate efforts, which leads to confusion. We’ve got to find ways to consolidate these programs to achieve the same outcomes with less overhead and waste.”
In 2012, the Government Accountability Office issued its an annual report that as of 2011, there were 94 federal initiatives across 11 federal agencies to foster green building development in the nonfederal sector. According to the agency, many of these initiatives provide duplicative means of assistance such as grants, technical assistance, and tax credits.
The provision requires all the agencies involved to:
Submit a report to Congress regarding administrative expenses, expenditures for services, estimated number of clients served, type of assistance provided, and number of employees required to administer green building programs listed in the 2012 GAO report, and whether written program goals are available;
Provide recommendations as to whether any of the applicable programs should be eliminated/consolidated, including any legislative changes that would be necessary to eliminate/consolidate the applicable programs, or ways to improve the applicable programs by establishing program goals, reducing duplication, and increasing collaboration; and
Identify programs authorized by Congress, and those that are carried out solely under the discretionary authority of the Secretary.
McCaskill joined Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to support the bipartisan legislation when it was introduced last year.
McCaskill, a longtime advocate of eliminating waste in government, has targeted wasteful duplication before. McCaskill questioned inadequate strategic sourcing in government contracts and introduced a bill to eliminate redundant federal pesticide requirements last year.
Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/accountability to learn more about McCaskill’s for stronger accountability in Washington.