GAO Mission and Operations:
Summary of GAO's Performance and Financial Information Fiscal Year 2009
GAO-10-235SP, Jan 21, 2010
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This report presents the highlights of GAO's fiscal year 2009 Performance and Accountability Report. The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the Congress, exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help the Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. To fulfill its mission, GAO organizes and manages its resources to support four broad strategic goals. These include helping to address challenges to the well-being and economic security of the American people, U.S. national and homeland security efforts, and modernizing government to meet current and emerging issues. Strategic goal 4 is an internal goal that focuses on enhancing GAO's business and administrative processes through investments in human capital, financial management, information technology, and various processes and systems needed to support the agency and the Congress. GAO maintains a workforce of highly trained professionals across a breadth of academic and scientific disciplines. About three-quarters of our approximately 3,100 employees are based at our headquarters in Washington, D.C.; the rest are deployed in 11 field offices across the country.
In fiscal year 2009, GAO met or exceeded all of its performance targets by, for example, identifying $43 billion in financial benefits--a return of $80 for every dollar GAO spent--and over 1,300 improvements in laws and government programs and operations. The rate at which GAO's recommendations were implemented by federal agencies or the Congress was 80 percent, and over two-thirds of the products issued contained recommendations. GAO testified at over 200 hearings before the Congress on a variety of topics, including nonprime home loans, efforts to stimulate the national economy, and federal programs and areas considered at high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. Also, results from our employee feedback survey--the source for several of our people measures, such as staff development and organizational climate--were the highest in the last 5 years.