A bill introduced last year has advanced past the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs this week.
The bill, known as the Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act (S. 1378), would pay federal employees bonuses when they help identify unneeded or surplus funds in their agencies.
This bill would take aim at the “use or or lose it” approach that tends to crop up toward the end of the government’s fiscal year when agencies often increase their spending to ensure they disburse all of their allocated funds.
Under current law, an agency’s inspector general can pay bonuses of up to $10,000 when a federal employee identifies waste, fraud or mismanagement of funds.
The bill would allow an agency’s employees to also qualify for these bonuses if they identify unneeded or surplus funds, such as the spending that tends to happen at the end of the fiscal year.
The legislation would also ensure that 90% of the savings be automatically directed towards deficit reduction.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), said upon passage of the bill through the committee, “I am pleased that my legislation has received bipartisan support and is on its way to full passage in the U.S. Senate. My bill will incentivize government employees to find, report and eliminate government waste, fraud and abuse throughout our bloated federal government.”