More Vital Than Ever

Published: Mar 1, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 1993.

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GAO discussed accountability in government institutions. GAO noted that: (1) accountability is the mechanism for maintaining public trust that is crucial to business and government enterprises; (2) the government needs the support of the public in order to carry out health care reform, defense restructuring, education and training initiatives, and deficit reduction; (3) recent scandals and financial disasters have shaken public trust in government and the government has done little to establish and maintain an environment in which mismanagement will not happen; (4) executive branch agencies have not fully complied with procedures and legislative reporting requirements despite constant criticism; (5) the government continues to operate without the reliable information systems and effective internal controls it needs to make sound decisions; (6) the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 is the best mechanism for remedying the government's lack of accountability by requiring annual financial statements, audits, a 5-year Office of Management and Budget improvement plan, and annual reporting of internal control weaknesses; (7) effective federal oversight must extend to the financial management of private entities that could cost taxpayers money; and (8) government leaders must emphasize the crucial nature and visibility of the accountability issue.

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