This is the accessible text file for CG Presentation number GAO-08- 1089CG entitled 'The Role of the U.S. Government Accountability Office' which was released on August 7, 2007. This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this document to Webmaster@gao.gov. This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately. On August 8, 2008, this presentation was reissued due to several slides with corrupted or missing text. United States Government Accountability Office: GAO: The Role of the U.S. Government Accountability Office: House Democracy Assistance Commission, Members of Parliament from Indonesia, Kenya, Macedonia & Ukraine: Washington, D.C. July 31, 2008: Gene L. Dodaro: Acting Comptroller General of the United States: On August 7, 2008, this presentation was reissued due to several slides with corrupted or missing text. On September 18, 2008, this presentation was revised to identify the event attendees. GAO-08-1089CG: Presentation Outline: Who we are and how we do our work: Demand for service and impact of work: The importance of collaboration and capacity building: [End of section] Who We Are and How We Do Our Work: GAO’s Role & Mission: GAO’s role is to support the Congress in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and assure accountability of government for the benefit of the American people. Key Approaches: GAO carries out its mission in four fundamental ways: * Oversight: preventing and detecting fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement; * Insight: making government more efficient and effective; * Foresight: identifying emerging issues; * Adjudication: resolving bid protests and providing legal opinions. Core Values: * Accountability: Help the Congress oversee federal programs, policies, and operations to ensure accountability to the American people. * Integrity: Ensure that our work is professional, objective, fact- based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced. * Reliability: Provide high-quality, timely, accurate, useful, clear, and candid information. Serving The Congress And The Nation: GAO's Strategic Plan Framework Mission: GAO exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. Themes: * Changing Security Threats; * Sustainability Concerns; * Economic Growth & Competitiveness; * Global Interdependency; * Societal Change; * Quality of Life; * Science & Technology. Goals and Objectives: 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 related to: * Health care needs; * Lifelong learning; * Work benefits and protection; * Financial security; * Effective system of justice; * Viable communities; * Natural resources use and environmental protection; * Physical infrastructure. Respond to Changing Security Threats and the Challenges of Global Interdependence involving: * Homeland security; * Military capabilities and readiness; * Advancement of U.S. interests; * Global market forces. Help Transform the Federal Government's Role and How It Does Business to Meet Twenty-first Century Challenges by assessing: * Roles in achieving federal objectives; * Government transformation; * Key management challenges and program risks; * Fiscal position and financing of the government. Maximize the Value of GAO by Being a Model Federal Agency and a World- Class Professional Services Organization in the areas of: * Client and customer satisfaction; * Strategic leadership; * Institutional knowledge and experience; * Process improvement * Employer of choice. Core Values: * Accountability; * Integrity; * Reliability. Source: GAO Strategic Plan 2007-2012. [End of GAO's Strategic Plan Framework] GAO’s Mission Teams: * Acquisitions and Sourcing Management; * Applied Research and Methods; * Defense Capabilities Management; * Education, Workforce, and Income Security; * Financial Management Assurance; * Financial Markets and Community Investments; * Health Care; * Homeland Security and Justice; * Information Technology; * International Affairs and Trade; * Natural Resources and the Environment; * Physical Infrastructure; * Strategic Issues. GAO’s Workforce: * 3,100 FTE—75% in D.C., 25% in field. * Workforce consists primarily of analysts, IT specialists, auditors, attorneys, and economists. * GAO has technical chiefs for accounting, actuarial science, economics, statistics, science, and technology. * 80% of GAO’s resources spent on people. GAO’s Field Offices: [See PDF for image] This figure is a map of the United States depicting the location of the GAO Field Offices, as follows: Atlanta: DCM, FMA, FMCI, HC, HSJ, IT, NRE, SI; Boston: ASM, EWIS, FMCI, NRE, SI; Dallas: DCM, FMA, HSJ, IT, NRE, PI; Dayton: ASM; Denver: ASM, FMA, IT, NRE; Huntsville: ASM; Los Angeles: DCM, FMA, HSJ, IAT, PI; Norfolk: DCM; San Francisco: EWIS, FMCI, IAT, NRE, SI; Seattle: DCM, EWIS, FMA, HC, HSJ, NRE, PI. Source: GAO. [End of figure] GAO’s Independence: The Comptroller General (CG) is the head of GAO: * confirmed through a joint selection/appointment process involving the Congress and the President; * serves a 15 year term of office; * can only be removed by impeachment or joint resolution of Congress for specified reasons. GAO staff at all levels are civil servants, not political appointees. GAO’s Protocols: * Congressional Protocols: Govern GAO’s interactions with our client, the Congress. * Agency Protocols: Govern GAO’s interactions with executive branch agencies. * International Protocols: Govern GAO’s work that has international components or implications. Congressional Protocols: * GAO considers various criteria before accepting requests; * GAO prioritizes its work; * GAO makes certain commitments to congressional requesters. Agency Protocols: * GAO makes certain commitments to agencies: – notifies them of new work; – coordinates entrance and exit conferences; – solicits agency comments on drafts; * GAO expects certain commitments from agencies: – promptly schedules entrance and exit conferences and makes appropriate officials available; – complies with GAO’s request for access to records; – comments on GAO’s draft reports; – informs GAO of plans to implement report recommendations. International Protocols: International protocols in place for: * U.S. federal agencies with programs or activities overseas; * International organizations; * Foreign government ministries and departments; * Supreme Audit Institutions; * International and national accountability organizations; * International development organizations. Types of Engagements GAO Conducts: 1) Performance audits evaluating federal programs, agency performance, and actions needed: * program effectiveness and results audits; * economy and efficiency audits; * internal control assessments; * prospective analyses to: - assess program or policy alternatives; - advantages or disadvantages of proposals; - best practices. 2) Financial audits and attestation engagements. 3) Non-audit services include: * best practice guides; * budget justification reviews; * training, such as on audit standards; * briefings; * legal opinions; * bid protest adjudications; * technical assistance; * investigations. GAO’s Engagement Process: Phase One: Acceptance. Phase Two: Planning and Design. Phase Three: Data Gathering and Analysis. Phase Four: Product Development and Distribution. Phase Five: Results. GAO’s Risk Based Engagement Management Process: [See PDF for image] This figure is an illustration of the process, as follows: Requests, Mandates, CGA starts, lead to: EAM: Authority; Independence; Risk Level: - Cost; - Complexity; - Controversy; Priority; Internal Controls; Stakeholders; lead to: ERM: Design; Commitments to Clients; Draft Reports and Agency Views (all risk levels); Other issues (i.e., access, independence). [End of figure] One Quality Assurance System: While GAO undertakes a wide variety of engagements—using many different approaches and methodologies and a range of specialized skills—we have one quality assurance system. GAO’s quality assurance system is composed of a comprehensive set of clearly-defined, well-documented, and transparent standards and control procedures. Quality Assurance System—Framework and Policy Manual—assures compliance with Government Auditing Standards and core values. GAO’s Quality Assurance System provides reasonable assurance that GAO’s: * work is professional, independent, and objectively designed; * evidence is complete and reliable; * conclusions and products are fair and balanced; * recommendations are sound. Standards: * Government Auditing Standards. * Other generally accepted practices for: - surveys; - statistical sampling; - other applicable industry standards, such as those for engineering and actuarial work. Monitoring and Review: * Annual audit by external auditors. * Audit Advisory Committee. * GAO’s Inspector General reviews. * Annual internal assessments of internal controls. * Annual internal inspection program. * External peer review every 3 years. Demand for Services and Impact of Work: Demand High for GAO Assistance: * Over 1,200 requests in 2007; * Over 900 requests received to date in ’08; * Over 160 new mandates for GAO reviews were embedded into law. Increasing Demand for GAO Testimony: * GAO witnesses testifying at record pace: – 276 testimonies in FY ’07; – As of July 25, 2008, GAO witnesses have testified at 257 hearings. Table: Fiscal Year 2007 Performance: Measures: Financial benefits (in billions); FY 07 Target: $40.0; FY 08 Target: $45.9. Measures: Other benefits; FY 07 Target: 1,100; FY 08 Target: 1,354. Measures: Testimonies; FY 07 Target: 185; FY 08 Target: 276. Measures: Products with recommendations; FY 07 Target: 60%; FY 08 Target: 66%. Measures: Recommendations implemented; FY 07 Target: 80%; FY 08 Target: 82%. Measures: Timeliness (based on client feedback); FY 07 Target: 95%; FY 08 Target: 94%. [End of table] Impact of GAO’s Work: In FY ’07, GAO delivered hundreds of reports and briefings to aid congressional oversight and decision making and there are many examples showing the impact of our work: * Financial Benefits Example: - Increased the collection of delinquent taxes and civil fines. * Other Benefits Example: – Helped Congress create a center to better locate children after national disasters. The Importance of Collaboration and Capacity Building: The Importance of Collaboration: To strengthen accountability on a domestic and international basis, GAO coordinates in an ongoing way with: * The National Intergovernmental Audit Forum; * The Domestic Working Group; * The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions; * The Global Working Group. GAO in the International Community: * GAO is a member of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI); * GAO’s Comptroller General sits on the INTOSAI Governing Board; * GAO facilitates an international auditor fellowship training program; * GAO participates in international peer reviews; * Partnerships are a key enabler of change and help to leverage available resources. Evolving Challenges for Supreme Audit Institutions: Public expectations of government are changing: * Zero tolerance for corruption; * Desire for enhanced results and improved responsiveness; * Selected trends and challenges that have no boundaries: - Debt finance and financial markets; - Changing security threats; - Global interdependence; - Climate change; - Science and technology; - governance. Looking Inward: Building GAO’s Institutional Capacity: GAO, like other audit entities, must strive to recruit and retain employees with the proper skill mix in order to deal effectively with current and emerging challenges. Along these line, GAO: * Implemented core leadership training; * Grows faculty from within (“adjuncts”); * Contracts with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), when needed; * Hired a Chief Scientist; * Designed a state of the art computer lab. Growing Expectations on the Accountability Profession: To face current and emerging challenges, the accountability profession must: * Identify problem spots before crises emerge; * Recognize problems often need multiple organizations to work together; * Provide more detailed recommendations; * Add value by providing timely special products; * Cope with constrained resources. Figure: Accountability Organization Maturity Model: [See PDF for image] This figure is an illustration of an accountability organization maturity model. Depicted as a pyramid, the figure shows six levels of responsibility, with the following layers indicated from bottom to top: Combating Corruption; Promoting Transparency; Assuring Accountability; Enhancing Economy, Efficiency, Ethics, Equity, and Effectiveness; Increasing Insight; Facilitating Foresight. Source: GAO. [End of figure] Ways to Strengthen the Accountability Profession: * Focusing on strategic planning; * Modernizing professional standards; * Leading the way on fiscal stewardship; * Helping identify needed transformations; * Building audit capacity. [End of section] On the Web: Web site: [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cghome.htm]: Contact: Chuck Young, Managing Director, Public Affairs: YoungC1@gao.gov: (202) 512-4800: U.S. Government Accountability Office: 441 G Street NW, Room 7149: Washington, D.C. 20548: Copyright: This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. The published product may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. However, because this work may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately.