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Before the Subcommittee on Legislative Branch, Committee on 
Appropriations, House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

For Release on Delivery: 
Expected at 10:15 a.m. EDT:
March 17, 2010: 

Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office: 

Statement of Gene L. Dodaro: 
Acting Comptroller General of the United States: 


Madam Chair, Ranking Member Aderholt, and Members of the Subcommittee: 

I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to discuss the U.S. 
Government Accountability Office's (GAO) budget request for fiscal 
year 2011. At the outset, I want to thank all the members of the 
subcommittee for your continued support of GAO. With your support of 
our fiscal years 2009 and 2010 funding levels, we have been able to 
address the steady decline in staffing that GAO had experienced since 
fiscal year 2003 and begin to reverse this trend by restoring our 
staffing capacity. 

This has put us in a better position to assist the Congress in 
confronting the many difficult challenges facing the nation. In fiscal 
year 2009, GAO supported Congressional decision making and oversight 
on a range of critical issues, including the government's efforts to 
help stabilize financial markets and address the most severe recession 
since World War II. In addition to providing oversight for the 2008 
Economic Stabilization Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment 
Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), we continued to provide the Congress 
updates on programs that are at high risk for waste, fraud, abuse, and 
mismanagement or are in need of broad reform, and delivered advice and 
analyses on a broad array of pressing domestic and international 
issues that demand urgent attention and continuing oversight. These 
include modernizing the regulatory structure for financial 
institutions and markets to meet 21ST century demands; controlling 
escalating health care costs and providing more effective oversight of 
medical products; restructuring of the U.S. Postal Service to ensure 
its financial stability; and improving the Department of Defense's 
management approaches to issues ranging from weapons system 
acquisitions to accounting for weapons provided to Afghan security 
forces. Overall, we responded to requests from every standing 
committee of the House and the Senate and over 70 percent of their 

As a knowledge-based organization, our ability to timely assist the 
Congress as it addresses the nation's challenges depends on our 
ability to sustain our current staffing levels. We are submitting for 
your consideration a prudent request for $601 million for fiscal year 
2011, which will allow us to maintain our capacity to assist the 
Congress in addressing a range of financial, social, economic, and 
security challenges going forward. This amount represents a 4.1 
percent increase ($22.6 million) to maintain our fiscal year 2010 
operating level, and a 3.8 percent increase ($21.6 million) to 
continue mandated Recovery Act oversight beyond the expiration of the 
funding we received to help offset the cost of this new 
responsibility. The total requested increase of 7.9 percent will allow 
us to continue the Recovery Act work, maintain our fiscal year 2010 
staffing level, cover mandatory pay and uncontrollable cost increases, 
and reinvest savings from nonrecurring costs and efficiencies to 
further enhance our productivity and effectiveness. 

The Nation's Challenges Shape GAO's Fiscal Year 2011 Expected Workload: 

GAO stands ready to continue assisting the Congress as it tackles the 
wide array of challenges facing the nation. Our past performance is 
evidence of the critical role our dedicated staff play in helping the 
Congress and the American people better understand issues, both as 
they arise and over the long term. Issues on the horizon include: 

* Assessing the government's continuing response to the current 
economic situation, including: 

- the effectiveness of financial and regulatory reform efforts and 
plans to ensure the stability of the overall banking, housing, and 
financial markets; 

- conducting oversight of proposed programs to boost the economy, 
including job expansion and investments in infrastructure; and: 

- continuing to perform our responsibilities under the Recovery Act, 
including bimonthly reviews of how selected states and localities use 
the funds provided and quarterly reviews of recipient reports on job 

* Reviewing the government's efforts to identify and act on credible 
threats to homeland and border security, including to commercial 
aviation and seaports as well as those involving biological, chemical, 
and nuclear dimensions. 

* Reviewing U.S. efforts related to Afghanistan, Iraq and other 
regions in conflict, including reviewing the effect of drawing down 
resources in Iraq, providing more resources to Afghanistan, and 
retooling operations in Pakistan. 

* Supporting health care financing and reform efforts through analyses 
of Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs. 

* Identifying elements to help address the nation's financial 
challenges including Social Security, tax reform, retirement, and 
disability programs; opportunities to reduce spending; and reducing 
the gap between taxes owed and taxes collected. 

* Performing specialized studies and technology assessments of a wide 
range of science and technology issues, such as climate change, the 
challenges of developing sophisticated space and defense systems, and 
green energy. 

* Focusing on major areas that are at high-risk, including the U. S. 
Postal Service's financial condition, oversight of food and drug 
safety, and cybersecurity efforts. 

GAO is uniquely positioned to support the Congress. For instance, 
pressures to reduce the federal deficit following an economic recovery 
will require a greater need for the type of analyses that are a 
hallmark of GAO. We recently were tasked by statute to provide an 
annual report addressing overlap and duplication among federal 
programs. Also, through our long-standing focus on high-risk programs 
and other activities, we can identify for policymakers the agencies 
and programs that require priority attention. These include helping 
focus on ways to help reduce an estimated $98.7 billion of improper 
federal payments in fiscal year 2009 and the $290 billion estimated 
tax gap. In addition, our dedicated and multidisciplinary staff have 
substantive agency and program expertise, as well as expertise in 
conducting financial and performance audits, program evaluations, 
policy analyses, and technology assessments. 

GAO Continues to Be an Employer of Choice: 

Recognizing that GAO's accomplishments are a direct result of our 
dedicated workforce, management continuously strives to maintain a 
work environment that promotes employee well-being and productivity, 
and to be a world-class professional services organization. In both 
2007 and 2009, GAO ranked second in the "Best Places to Work" rankings 
sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service. We are also proud of 
the current results from our 2009 annual employee feedback survey, 
which indicate that employee satisfaction continues to increase. 
Importantly, the results of the 2009 annual employee feedback survey--
the highest scores to date--provided GAO management with valuable 
information on how we can continue to attract and retain top talent. 

GAO regularly seeks and values the input we receive from our employee 
organizations: the Diversity Advisory Council, Employee Advisory 
Council, and GAO Employees Union, International Federation of 
Professional & Technical Engineers, Local 1921(the Union). 
Collaboration with these organizations has resulted in a number of 
improvements in GAO processes, including improved field office working 
conditions; enhanced quality control forms that help ensure that our 
practices follow GAO policy and generally accepted government auditing 
standards; and new demographic questions on the annual GAO employee 
feedback survey that allow GAO management to track the views of 
certain employee populations. Also, GAO and the Union have made 
significant progress toward reaching agreement on a master contract 
and are continuing to resolve fiscal year 2010 analyst performance-
based compensation rates. 

GAO continues to make progress toward our goal to create a more 
inclusive work environment. The most recent data show that 
representation of minority groups in our workforce equals or exceeds 
the representation in the relevant civilian labor force. As of April 
2009, minorities represented about 30 percent of GAO's total workforce 
and women constituted nearly 60 percent. By comparison, in the 
civilian labor force minorities represented about 27 percent and women 
about 47 percent. With our approach to continuous improvement, several 
areas merit continued attention, such as increasing the representation 
of Hispanics and the disabled in the total workforce. Looking forward, 
our action plan focuses on three areas: recruitment and hiring, staff 
development, and efforts to create a more inclusive work environment. 
We will continue to consult with the Union and all employee groups as 
we begin to implement this action plan. 

Our fiscal year 2011 budget provides funds to continue to strengthen 
employee development and benefits programs. We have also identified 
savings and efficiencies within our budget and plan to reinvest these 
resources to implement enabling technologies, such as energy 

GAO's Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request: 

As a people-intensive organization, about 80 percent of GAO's budget 
funds compensation and benefits for over 3,300 employees, with the 
balance funding mandatory operating expenses, such as rent for field 
office locations, security services, and other critical infrastructure 
services required for ongoing operations. 

GAO is requesting an increase of $22.6 million to maintain our current 
capacity to provide timely, high quality responses to congressional 
requests for assistance, and $21.6 million to continue our mandated 
oversight of Recovery Act spending. About 90 percent of the requested 
increase supports mandatory compensation and benefits to support our 
fiscal year 2010 staffing level. 

A summary of our fiscal year 2011 request is shown in the following 
table and explained in further detail below. 

Table 1: Fiscal Year 2011 Summary of Requested Changes (Dollars in 

Budget category: FY 2009 actual costs; 
FTEs: 3,141; 
Amount: $529,526. 

Budget category: FY 2010 enacted level; 
FTEs: 3,221; 
Amount: $556,849. 

Budget category: Changes to the base: Maintaining staff capacity; 
FTEs: 49; 
Amount: $20,444; 
Cumulative percentage of change from FY 2010 to FY 2011: 3.7%. 

Budget category: Changes to the base: Nonpay inflation and 
Amount: $6,420; 
Cumulative percentage of change from FY 2010 to FY 2011: 4.8%. 

Budget category: Changes to the base: Change in offsetting 
Amount: ($4,225); 
Cumulative percentage of change from FY 2010 to FY 2011: 4.1%. 

Budget category: Changes to the base: Efficiencies/savings and 
nonrecurring costs; 
Amount: ($8,032); 
Cumulative percentage of change from FY 2010 to FY 2011: 2.3%. 

Budget category: Changes to the base: Resource reinvestment; 
Amount: $8,030; 
Cumulative percentage of change from FY 2010 to FY 2011: 4.1%. 

Budget category: Subtotal - changes to the base; 
FTEs: 49; 
Amount: $22,637; 
Cumulative percentage of change from FY 2010 to FY 2011: 4.1%. 

Budget category: Recovery Act; 
FTEs: 144; 
Amount: $21,631; 
Cumulative percentage of change from FY 2010 to FY 2011: 7.9%. 

Budget category: Total appropriation - salaries and expenses; 
FTEs: 3,414; 
Amount: $601,117; 
Cumulative percentage of change from FY 2010 to FY 2011: 7.9%. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

Maintaining staff capacity includes $20.4 million to maintain our 
projected fiscal year 2010 onboard staff at a full-time equivalent 
(FTE) level of 3,270 FTEs to enable GAO to continue to meet our 
increased responsibilities in a timely manner. The requested increase 
primarily includes: 

* the full-year cost to maintain the workforce in fiscal year 2011 
resulting from fiscal year 2010 hiring and pay actions, 

* mandatory January 2011 pay increase at 1.4 percent based on Office 
of Management and Budget guidance, and: 

* performance-based pay increases in lieu of executive branch General 
Schedule within-grade increases. 

Nonpay inflation and annualization includes $6.4 million to maintain 
purchasing power, sustain fiscal year 2010 operating levels, and cover 
projected inflationary increases in common carrier transportation 
costs, travel per diem rates, training, supplies and materials, and 
other essential mission-support services based on negotiated 
contracts, vendor notification, or historical trend data. 

Change in offsetting collections/reimbursements reflects an increase 
of $4.2 million in rental income and reimbursement from financial 
audits that reduces our request for appropriated funds. 

Efficiencies and nonrecurring costs reflect $8 million of efficiencies 
and nonrecurring fiscal year 2010 costs resulting from: 

* technology consolidations, such as our new core human capital system 
and integrated E-Gov travel solution, and: 

* enhanced building operations, including the installation of a gas-
and solar-powered water boiler to improve energy efficiency. 

Resource reinvestment reinvests $8 million of nonrecurring fiscal year 
2010 costs and operational efficiencies to: 

* further enhance our information technology programs to enhance 
productivity and effectiveness; 

* continue to address management challenges through increased 
security, enhanced appraisal systems, and retention incentives; 

* continue cyclical building maintenance and repairs and enhance 
energy efficiency; and: 

* bolster support for audit engagements and technology assessments. 

Recovery Act includes funds to help offset the cost to maintain 144 
FTEs necessary to continue to meet the mandated oversight of the use 
of the funds provided in the Recovery Act to help ensure transparency 
and accountability. 

Concluding Remarks: 

With the strong support of the Congress and this subcommittee, in 
fiscal years 2009 and 2010 GAO increased our staff capacity. Our 
fiscal year 2011 budget request is prudent and essential to ensure 
that we can maintain this capacity and continue to provide timely, 
high-quality assistance to the Congress in confronting the critical 
economic, financial and security challenges facing the nation. 

We have a proven track record of helping the Congress evaluate 
critical issues of national importance and improving the transparency 
and accountability of government for the American people. For example, 
our work in the banking sector provided a framework that can be used 
to help reform the financial regulatory system and to evaluate 
proposals to ensure that any new regulatory system is sufficiently 
comprehensive, addresses risks, and adequately protects consumers. In 
the last 2 years our work yielded significant results across the 
government, including an average in each of the last 2 years of expert 
testimony at about 250 congressional hearings, almost 1,300 
recommendations for improvements in government operations and changes 
to law, and $50 billion in financial benefits, resulting in a return 
on investment in fiscal year 2009 of $80 for every dollar the Congress 
invested in us.[Footnote 1] 

We remain committed to providing accurate, objective, nonpartisan, and 
constructive information to the Congress to help it conduct effective 
oversight and fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. I 
appreciate, as always, your careful consideration of our submission 
and look forward to discussing our proposal with you. 

Madam Chair, Ranking Member Aderholt, this concludes my prepared 
statement. We would be pleased to respond to any questions that you or 
other Members of the subcommittee might have. 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: How GAO Assisted the Nation, Fiscal Year 2009: 

Figure 2: How GAO Assisted the Nation: Fiscal Year 2009: 

Strategic Goal 1: Provide timely, quality service to the Congress and 
the federal government to address current and emerging challenges to 
the well-being and financial security of the American people: 

* Highlighted weaknesses in the Food and Drug Administration’s 
oversight of medical devices; 

* Helped to improve the health care provided wounded soldiers returning 

* Investigated the death and abuse of children at public and private 

* Recommended additional oversight and controls of voluntary workplace 
safety and health programs administered by some companies; 

* Enhanced management at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; 

* Enhanced federal efforts to combat drug trafficking; 

* Identified ways the Department of Housing and Urban Development could 
promote energy efficiency and green building in federal public housing 

* Informed the debate on hardrock mining reform; 

* Reported on the Environmental Protection Agency’s reforms of its 
toxic chemical assessment process; 

* Informed the Congress about the U.S. Postal Service’s deteriorating 
financial situation. 

Strategic Goal 2: Provide timely, quality service to the Congress and 
the federal government to respond to changing security threats and the 
challenges of global interdependence: 

* Recommended actions to improve the Department of Defense’s (DOD) 
management of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan; 

* Helped the Congress assess DOD’s ability to provide trained and ready 
forces for military operations; 

* Recommended that the State Department develop outcome measures for 
its capacity-building program in Iraq; 

* Helped to improve DOD’s accounting of weapons provided to Afghan 
security forces; 

* Helped to strengthen aviation security through improved passenger 
watch-list matching; 

* Developed a framework to help the Congress evaluate proposals for 
revamping the U.S. financial regulatory system; 

* Helped to assess the implementation of TARP; 

* Informed the Congress about weaknesses in lender data that limit 
regulators’ability to identify financial institutions at higher risk of 
discriminatory lending practices. 

Strategic Goal 3: Help transform the federal government’s role and how 
it does business to meet 21st century challenges: 

* Helped to track how states and localities are using Recovery Act 

* Strengthened federal planning and preparedness efforts for the 
influenza pandemic; 

* Helped DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs better share 
electronic health records; 

* Identified shortcomings in the Department of Homeland Security’s 
management of major acquisitions; 

* Tested the adequacy of the complaint intake process at the Department 
of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division; 

* Helped to reduce governmentwide improper payments; 

* Recommended ways to reduce tax noncompliance. 

Strategic Goal 4: Maximize the value of GAO by being a model federal 
agency and a world-class professional services organization: 

* Mobilized staff quickly to conduct mandated oversight work and ensure 
accountability of the federal assistance available through the Recovery 

* Contributed to enhancing the ability of the domestic accountability 
community to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of federal funds; 

* Helped enhance international accountability organizations’ capacity 
to implement strong professional standards by sponsoring training and 
participating in international forums. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Selected Testimony Issues, Fiscal Year 2009: 

Selected Testimony Issues: Fiscal Year 2009: 	 

Goal 1: Address Challenges to the Well-Being and Financial Security of 
the American People: 

* Auto industry bailout; 
* Nonprime home loans and rising foreclosures; 
* Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation financial challenges; 
* Social Security Administration challenges with disability claims 
* Wildland fire management; 
* Mental health services for Hurricane Katrina's youngest victims; 
* Clean water trust fund; 
* Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care for women veterans; 
* Corporate crime and deferred prosecutions; 
* D.C. public school reform efforts; 
* Limiting United States Postal Service losses; 
* Reverse mortgages; 
* Crime victims' rights; 
* Federal Protective Service. 

Goal 2: Respond to Changing Security Threats and the Challenges of 

* U.S. strategies and plans in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; 
* Reforming U.S. defense acquisitions; 
* Planning future army combat systems; 
* DOD's business transformation; 
* Financial regulators' oversight of large financial institutions; 
* Security and Exchange Commission enforcement resources; 
* TARP; 
* U.S. cybersecurity strategy; 
* Screening air cargo on passenger aircraft; 
* Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act; 
* Climate change trade measures; 
* Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program reforms. 

Goal 3: Help Transform the Federal Government's Role and How It Does 

* Recovery Act; 
* Influenza pandemic; 
* Health IT; 
* Management of DOD contractors; 
* Key National Aeronautics and Space Administration challenges; 
* U.S. government financial statements; 
* 2010 Census preparations; 
* Improper federal payments to suspended businesses; 
* Offshore financial activity and tax enforcement; 
* VA and DOD electronic health records; 
* Illegal export of military technology. 

Source: FEMA News Photo (background image). 

[End of section] 


[1] For additional information on GAO's fiscal year 2009 
accomplishments, see GAO's Performance & Accountability Report, Fiscal 
Year 2009, and Summary of GAO's Performance and Financial Information, 
Fiscal Year 2009, available at [hyperlink,]. Examples of how GAO assisted 
the nation and selected issues on which senior GAO officials testified 
at congressional hearings in fiscal year 2009 is included in 
appendixes I and II. 

[End of section] 

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