This piece was originally published in The Hill.
As the 118th Congress begins, Americans may be wondering what, if anything, the legislative branch will accomplish in 2023. For a dose of optimism, they should look to the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act, which included a bipartisan measure providing a blueprint for good government reforms in the 118th Congress.
The Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act requires the comptroller general to provide an annual report to Congress with a streamlined list of open recommendations from Congress’s watchdog, the Government Accountability Office. The law, which was sponsored by Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), William Timmons (R-S.C.), Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), requires the comptroller general to tell Congress how long priority recommendations have been open and provide estimates of potential savings.
Each year, GAO issues more than 1,000 recommendations for ways to make the government work better, based on its reviews of government agencies and programs. GAO’s work is routinely used by federal agenciesto improve management and by lawmakers developing legislation.