Today, in conjunction with the White Coat Waste Project, Restore Accountability released the transparency report ‘Ivy League Flunkers.’ The report highlights the Ivy League’s inability to comply with federal law (Steven’s Amendment) that requires disclosure of government funding details.
Since 1989, federal spending bills have required federal grant recipients to disclose in a press release, or other documents, whether federal funds were used for a project, and if so, how much. Senator Flake’s recent report, ‘Wastebook 2017,’ documented a number of projects that failed to disclose their funding, which led to an investigation into the required law.
To examine whether this is a prevalent problem, we chose to analyze compliance at America’s most prominent universities, Ivy League institutions. We found a 100% failure rate in our compliance analysis. The funding for these projects totals over $245 million, but, at just 100 projects sampled, represents just the tip of the iceberg.
One of Restore Accountability’s priorities is to increase transparency in government spending so that taxpayers will know how their money is being spent. Transparency and accountability of taxpayer dollars is essential to restore trust among the American public. We hope the findings in this report will spur immediate action from Congress to start enforcing transparency laws that have long been ignored. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), has requested the Government Accountability Office (GAO) continue the investigation into federal grant recipient’s compliance with the Steven’s Amendment.
Our recommendations, in partnership with the White Coat Waste Project are as follows:
Permanently enshrine the Stevens Amendment in federal law and cover all executive agencies
Directly alert all grantees that receive funding covered by the Stevens Amendment of their public disclosure responsibilities
Conduct an audit to determine pervasiveness of disclosure failures
Read the full report here.