April 21, 2023

Young, Scott Reintroduce Broadband Buildout Accountability Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) reintroduced the Broadband Buildout Accountability Act to increase transparency for a $42 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Package (BIF) broadband buildout grant awarded to the National Technology Information Administration (NTIA). This grant is currently exempted from transparency requirements under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

This legislation would remove the FOIA exemption and require a full accounting of how the $42 billion of taxpayer money is spent to ensure these dollars are not subjected to fraud, waste, or misuse.

“It is vital that we close the digital divide and deploy broadband to unserved Hoosiers. At the same time, we must ensure proper oversight of federal broadband programs to avoid some of the waste, fraud, and abuse that has occurred in the past. This bill reinstates the Freedom of Information Act rules for NTIA’s new broadband program to help us do just that,” said Senator Young.

“Americans deserve to know how the government is spending their money—especially on a $42 billion grant that will help get essential internet services to those that need it most. This is not the government’s money, it is the hard-earned dollars of American taxpayers and they should know exactly how every cent is being spent. My Broadband Buildout Accountability Act will increase transparency and help ensure this taxpayer money is spent with maximum accountability and return on investment. Spending taxpayer dollars should be a crystal clear process. I urge my colleagues to support this bill which increases government accountability and transparency to Americans everywhere,” said Senator Scott.

In addition to Senators Young and Scott, Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) also sponsored this legislation.

Full legislative text can be found here.