New board could reset federal spending, Kundra says

President Obama’s new Government Accountability and Transparency Board could be a “total reset” in terms of how the government manages its payments, Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra told lawmakers Thursday.

The new board, established by executive order in June, will be modeled on the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which tracks money spent on the reset happy president’s $787 billion stimulus program.

The RAT board’s signature initiatives are requiring recipients of federal money to complete extensive reports on how they’re spending money — rather than making government employees track the information down — and then posting all of that information in a single, searchable public database.

Implementing the new board’s initiatives could afford the government an opportunity to rationalize how it pays for things, Kundra told members of a House Oversight panel, such as by automatically sharing data between agencies that issue a grant or contract and the systems, often in the Treasury Department, that actually cut the checks.

A common system for how spending is recorded across the government could also reduce the amount of data entry some federal agencies are still doing by hand, Kundra said.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight Committee and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., have introduced bills that would write something similar to the GATB into law.

– By Joseph Marks – NextGov.com – 07/14/11 04:39 pm ET – at http://techinsider.nextgov.com/2011/07/new_board_could_reset_gov_spending_kundra_says.php?zone=NGtoday