Want a $10,000 Bonus? A New Bill Would Reward Feds Who Report Wasteful Spending

Legislation has been introduced in the Senate that would empower an agency’s inspector general to reward federal workers who identify wasteful or fraudulent spending with a bonus.

Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mark Warner (D-VA) have introduced legislation that would empower an agency’s inspector general to pay a bonus of up to $10,000 to a federal employee who identifies wasteful or fraudulent spending.

Known as the Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2015, the bill would give federal workers on the front lines a personal incentive to report frivolous federal spending in their agencies.

Agency expenditures tend to spike towards the end of the fiscal year, and the Senators are concerned this “use it or lose it” approach leads to unnecessary and wasteful spending. Federal employees who identify unneeded or surplus funds will be eligible for a bonus worth 10% of the savings, up to $10,000.


“Under the current law, federal employees have a perverse incentive to spend all of their agency’s annual budget before the end of the year, and subsequently, bonuses will reverse the incentive to the benefit of the employee and the taxpayer,” said Senator Paul. “The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act will reduce the federal deficit and reverse the trend toward agency bloat, by combating inefficiency and mismanagement of funds in the government.”

Senator Warner added, “This bipartisan proposal encourages federal agencies to return unused funds instead of rushing to spend-down their appropriations at the end of every fiscal year. When we empower federal employees to identify surplus funds instead of encouraging the ‘use it or lose it’ mentality, we are better stewards of taxpayers’ dollars.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Mike Enzi (R-WY).

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.