Request for Information on Government Corporations

B-34706: Dec 5, 1947

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The Chairman of the House Select Committee on Foreign Aid requested information regarding Government corporations. Specifically, the chairman requested information on: (1) the significance of the use of the corporate form, from the standpoint of appropriations, expenditures, accounting, purchases, receipts, lawsuits, etc.; (2) restrictive and exemptive measures applied to government corporations, compared to those applied to ordinary government agencies; and (3) the distinction in foreign law between the operation on their territory of foreign-owned public corporations or their subsidiaries, as opposed to field offices of executive agencies of foreign governments.

GAO discussed the significance of the use of the corporate form, specifically focusing on appropriations, expenditures, accounting, purchases, receipts, and lawsuits. GAO found that the restrictive and exemptive measures applied to Government corporations depend largely on the language of the corporation's charter or other enabling legislation as well as the language of the general laws. GAO noted that it was unable to respond to the Chairman's third question, as not enough details were provided.