Renewed Effort to Pay Bonuses to Federal Employees Who Report Wasteful Spending

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to pay bonuses to federal employees who report wasteful spending.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to pay bonuses to federal employees who report instances of waste or fraud in the government’s day-to-day spending activities.

Paul has reintroduced the Bonuses for Cost Cutters Act (S. 2618). The bill was previously introduced in 2015 and 2017. It would expand bonuses that can be paid to federal employees for reporting unnecessary government spending.

Under current federal law, an agency’s Inspector General is allowed to pay bonuses of up to $10,000 when federal employees report waste, fraud, or mismanagement of funds. Paul’s bill would expand these categories to include identifying surplus or unneeded funds.
The legislation would also ensure 90% of the savings are automatically directed toward deficit reduction, with agencies free to apply any remainder toward other agency priorities, subject to current law.

“Successfully tackling our debt crisis requires vigilance at all levels of government, from lawmakers in Congress to the employees on the front lines that carry out the day-to-day spending. The pressure in Washington to spend all you can before the end of the fiscal year so you can get even more in the future is enormous. Bonuses for Cost-Cutters pushes back against this status quo, providing additional incentive to save taxpayer resources,” said Paul.

Paul has been an advocate of cutting unnecessary government spending, particularly when it’s centered around the end of the fiscal year. The last time the bill was introduced, it was done so around a hearing that Paul held in Washington to address what he said was “wasteful spending at the end of the fiscal year” in which he cited examples such as the military hovering aircraft just to burn off excess fuel or soldiers spending unnecessary time at the shooting range just to use up ammunition.

The Congressional Budget Office has previously weighed in on Paul’s bill and said that there would be no significant additional costs involved to implement the bill, however, the agency added that it didn’t think the bill would do much to help reduce wasteful spending.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of 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.