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GAO, Way to Go!

Dec 12, 2008
No one is closer to the federal government than the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. They:

  • audit agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively;
  • investigate allegations of illegal and improper activities;
  • report on how well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives;
  • perform policy analyses and outline options for congressional consideration;
  • issue legal decisions and opinions, such as bid protest rulings and reports on agency rules.1
The GAO has produced a web page entitled Serving the Congress and the Nation. It contains information on:
  • the 13 “Urgent Issues” it believes the new administration needs to address in its first year;
  • agency-by-agency issues;
  • management challenges across the government;
  • major cost-savings opportunities;
  • upcoming reports on major issues;
  • the long-term fiscal outlook;
  • working with GAO.2
Though not as noisy and dramatic as some watchdogs, the GAO is probably closer to the pulse of the federal government and to the real needs of the nation than any other. The GAO is the primary fact-finding and fact-reporting agency of the Congress and as such their voice will be ignored at their peril by the incoming administration and the new Congress.
1 About GAO, accessed December 7, 2008.
2 Serving the Congress and the Nation
tags: Congress | Governance

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