Federal grant reform proposed

money-cash-ben-franklinFor years, nonprofits have grown rather lazy in soliciting donations from supporters and instead, have opted for an easy way to get federal dollars. Millions of federal dollars pour into organizations with little say from the taxpayers, who have not supported those entities through their own donations.

On Tuesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform approved by a vote of 19-15 H.R. 3316, the Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2013 (GRANT Act), sponsored by Subcommittee Chairman James Lankford, R-Okla. The GRANT Act is intended to improve the way taxpayer funds are awarded by enhancing the transparency and accountability of the federal grant process. Spending on grants has increased from $135 billion in 1990 to over $600 billion this past fiscal year.

“Much of what the federal government does with taxpayer dollars is carried out by states, localities, universities, and not-for-profits funded by federal grants,” said Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “Yet, far too little light is shed on these expenditures. The American taxpayer deserves to know how and why grants are awarded and what the recipients are doing with their hard-earned dollars.”

“The process by which the government manages federal grant awards should be open and honest, but unfortunately, many agencies lack disclosure standards and consistent procedures,” said Chairman Lankford.

The GRANT Act requires agencies to disclose more information about how they award discretionary, competitive grants. The bill requires each agency to post on a central website information about each grant opportunity, including the factors that will be used to evaluate proposals, a copy or abstract of the successful grant application, and the ranking of successful grant applications.

The legislation also requires that, upon completion of the grant, all reports submitted by the recipient must be posted online.

The Committee adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., to streamline the pre-grant financial management evaluation process for grantees that have received at least $10 million dollars in federal grants within the past three years.

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  1. The website should also allow citizens to comment if an entity being awarded a grant has violated any laws in order to implement any program for which the grant has been awarded. In Colorado a non-profit organization implementing mutual self help housing filed fraudulent documents against other property owner’s titles, “willfully refused” to remove when requested and supposedly required under the law. These actions defraud not only property owners who purchased based upon an implied and expressed warranty regarding what is to be built, but also their mortgage lenders who lend large sums of money. These actions swipe equity and value from innocent citizens including legally disabled citizens who then are stuck selling homes via “short sales”. Innocent property owners after 20-30 years of hard work and their mortgage lenders end up with nothing and virtually bankrupt in order to unjustly enrich recipients of this program … sorry that is wrong and needs to be stopped.

  2. This government doesn’t even think about this being our money. They truly believe it is theirs to blow for votes. I understand our military is being downsized by thousands of troops and dollars for weapons. I want the waste stopped but our military has to be the strongest in the world and I want our Vets taken care of! When your the best you don’t apologize for anything. The progressive mindset is mind boggling. The list issues that are FUBAR under this regime is sickening and hard to wake up and have to face everyday..

  3. I can name a few readily and more if I take the time to think about it. For starters, how about the Hispanic activist organizations such as La Raza who openly funnel this money to illegals. Then, we have the NAACP which obtains huge sums of money and yet there are no equivalent White organizations feeding at the public trough. If we really want to streamline the federal programs, lets cut tax exempt status for every organization that does not expend at least 80% of their funds on charity. The rest, including churches and political organizations can fork out their share of taxes just as we do.

  4. Defund the Federal Government. I can certainly spend my money better than this bureaucratic monstrosity in DC can. Get back to what the federal government is supposed to do—-like secure our borders. There’s a radical idea.

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