Multiple government agencies have failed to monitor how federal funding is being used, or enforce existing rules on research grants, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
The Government Accountability Office found in a report released Friday that the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education have failed to enforce the Stevens Amendment that mandates federal grand recipients disclose their funding when making their projects public. These three agencies issued more than $500 billion in grants during fiscal year 2017, and HHS by itself accounted for $455 billion of that total total.
Labor’s Employment and Training Administration is unaware of how much funding goes to salaries for organizations with federal grants, and according to the National Institute of Health, “multiple funding streams” for research programs have made tracking the money “more complex” than before.
"Taxpayers in Iowa, and across the nation, have a right to know exactly how their hard-earned dollars are being spent," Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said in a statement in response to the GAO report. "While current law requires projects funded by some federal agencies to disclose the costs, my office has found that these agencies are largely ignoring the law and failing to comply. That's unacceptable."
She added, "the COST Act guarantees hardworking Iowans have easy access to see how their tax dollars are being spent, and gives them the ability to decide for themselves whether or not the price is right.”