Each year, the federal government wastes close to a million dollars on service fees for empty bank accounts. This bizarre, wasteful practice occurs because of delays in closing out grant accounts that have been fully expended. To stop this practice, the Senate should pass S.1115, the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act, introduced by Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) earlier this year.

This bipartisan legislation requires the federal government to close out empty grant accounts in a timely manner, and clamp down on the current, wasteful practice. S. 1115 was approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee earlier this year and similar legislation introduced by Congressman Tim Walberg (R-Mich) passed the House unanimously. ATR supports this common-sense legislation and urges the Senate to take up and pass this bill.

The GONE act would simply require the federal government to ensure that all empty grant accounts are closed out so taxpayer funds are no longer wasted on this pointless expense.

According to a 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), maintenance costs on over 28,000 expired grant accounts cost taxpayers as much as $173,000 per month. The federal government is required to close out a grant account within 90 days, but delays result in empty accounts unnecessarily burning through finite taxpayer resources.

Taxpayers have a right to expect the federal government to responsibly spend resources and the GONE act will help ensure this is the case. ATR supports this legislation and urges all members of the Senate to support this important legislation.