H.R. 4894 would require federal agencies to publish more information online about federal spending and about the budget in general. All agencies would be required to post their annual budget justification documents online and to make those documents available to the public in a centralized, searchable database, as well as at each agency’s website. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would coordinate the effort. Because this information is already created by agencies and collected by OMB, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost less than $500,000 over the 2020-2025 period. Those costs would primarily be for administrative expenses at OMB and governmentwide to make the information available online.
Enacting H.R. 4894 could affect direct spending by some agencies that are allowed to use fees, receipts from the sale of goods, and other collections to cover operating costs. CBO estimates that any net changes in direct spending by those agencies would be negligible because most of them can adjust amounts collected to reflect changes in operating costs.
On February 4, 2020, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 2560, the Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act of 2019, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on November 6, 2019. The two pieces of legislation are similar, and CBO’s estimates of their budgetary effects are the same.