Sen. Ernst Introduces Bill to Require Project Cost Overrun Disclosure

On the heels of the Federal Railroad Administration pulling back funding for California’s high-speed rail project, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, (seen above) has introduced a bill to require full public disclosure of the cost and timeline of government-funded projects that are over budget and behind schedule.

[Above photo by Gage Skidmore.]

Dubbed the “Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act,” the bill would require Office of Management and Budget to submit an annual report to Congress listing every government-funded project that is $1 billion or more over budget or five years or more behind schedule. It would also require:

  • a brief description, including the purpose, location, the year in which it was begun, the Federal share of the total cost, and the contractors and grant recipients;
  • an explanation of any change to the original scope of the project, including adding to or narrowing of the initial requirements;
  • the original expected and current expected completion date;
  • the original and current cost estimate;
  • an explanation for a delay in completion or increase in the original cost estimate; and,
  • the amount of and rationale for any award, incentive fee, or other type of bonus awarded for the project.

“Identifying projects that are significantly over budget or behind schedule allows Congress and federal agencies to better manage taxpayer dollars and prevent bigger boondoggles,” Sen. Ernst said in a Feb. 26 statement.

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