GAO Mission and Operations:

[The Role of the General Accounting Office in Auditing Federal Programs]

Published: Sep 27, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 1982.

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In a speech before a council of educational opportunity associations, GAO discussed its role in auditing Federal programs in general and educational programs in particular. The primary purposes of GAO audits is to: (1) evaluate the efficiency, economy, legality, and effectiveness with which Federal agencies carry out their financial, management, and program responsibilities, and (2) to assist Congress and Federal agency officials to carry out their responsibilities by providing them with objective and timely information on the conduct of Government operations together with GAO conclusions and recommendations. Traditionally, GAO staff have had backgrounds in accounting, auditing, and law; however, over the past decade GAO has expanded its expertise by adding engineers, economists, computer specialists, and other social scientists to its staff. Education is one of 40 issue areas designated as issues of national importance which should receive audit attention. During the last year and a half, GAO reports in the education area have covered a multitude of federally supported education programs and activities. Currently, GAO is engaged in assessing: the migrant education program, the Department of Education's discretionary grant award process, section 6 schools for dependents of military personnel, and TRIO. The objectives of the TRIO assignment were to: (1) assess Education's administration and evaluation of the grantee's operations, (2) determine the grantees' progress in meeting project and program goals, and (3) determine the progress of participants.

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