Monday, February 23, 2009

The Stimulus Bill will create bureaucratic bloat

unlike anything we have ever seen...anywhere, anytime. The IBM Center for the Business of Government blog says we are in danger of creating a parallel government.

The Stimulus Bill contains an enormous number of reporting requirements. For example, Stimulus dollars have to be accounted separately, and agencies must separately report on who gets the dollars, including subcontractors or sub-grantees, and how many jobs are created.

Programs, agencies, OMB, and the new, $84 million Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board (see p. 175 of the bill) are all required to report on the progress of spending, often on different timetables. In fact, according to new OMB guidance, there are eight levels of reporting that are now required, with the first report from agencies due March 3.

There is a risk of creating, at least on paper, a parallel government – the regular government and the Stimulus government — programs (and dollars) being funded via Stimulus dollars. The Stimulus spending ($787 billion) is almost the size of a “regular” annual budget (about $990 billion in discretionary spending in 2009, once you back out interest on the debt and entitlement programs).