Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request:

U.S. Government Accountability Office

GAO-09-587T: Published: Apr 28, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2009.

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This testimony discuss the U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) budget request for fiscal year 2010. In fiscal year 2008 GAO delivered advice and analyses to the Congress in response to requests from all of the standing committees of the House and the Senate and over 80 percent of their subcommittees. The hard work of our staff yielded significant results across the government, including expert testimony at over 300 congressional hearings, hundreds of improvements in government operations, and billions in financial benefits. While we will strive to make progress in responding to new congressional requests sooner with our fiscal year 2009 funding level, our fiscal year 2010 request would enable GAO to make more progress in addressing the issues of greatest interest to the Congress and the American public during these challenging times.

With the increased capacity included in our fiscal year 2010 appropriation request, we can continue to assist the Congress with oversight over a broad range of federal programs. As a knowledge-based organization, about 80 percent of GAO's budget funds staff compensation and benefits, with much of the balance of our budget funding mandatory operating expenses, such as security services and other critical infrastructure services necessary to support our ongoing operations. For this reason, the significant majority of our requested funding increase is not discretionary. Our requested increase for fiscal year 2010 of $36.5 million seeks funds to cover (1) mandatory pay increases resulting primarily from annual across-the-board performance-based increases and pay raises required by the GAO Act, including the annualization of prior fiscal year compensation costs; (2) uncontrollable inflationary increases imposed by vendors as part of the cost of doing business; (3) nonrecurring fiscal year 2009 costs resulting from program improvements, which can offset about one-third of our mandatory and inflationary changes; (4) strengthening our staff capacity to provide timely support to the Congress in confronting the broad array of critical challenges facing the nation, including helping to support the Congress's consideration of changes in the regulatory structure for financial markets and institutions, providing targeted analyses to inform decision makers working to restore the functioning of the mortgage market, supporting health care reform efforts and the control of health care costs, and providing assessments of technologies in the context of federal programs and public policy issues, and (5)program changes supporting critical investments to provide employee development and benefits, implement technological improvements, and strengthen our infrastructure.

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