Legislative Oversight:

Congressional Requests for Information on Defense Activities

NSIAD-86-65BR: Published: Feb 14, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed and analyzed data from the Department of Defense (DOD) on the number of congressional requests for testimonies, briefings, written inquiries, telephone inquiries, and other data to develop trend information.

GAO found that, over a 10-year period, the average number of: (1) committees and subcommittees requesting DOD testimony nearly tripled, but the number of hearings increased only 5 percent; (2) Secretary of Defense testimonies decreased from 24 to 19; (3) DOD officials' testimonies rose from 1,261 to 1,509; (4) reported written congressional inquiries decreased from 164,388 to 108,772; and (5) telephone inquiries per year decreased from 616,385 to 505,911. GAO also found that there has been a significant increase in the total number of congressional directions to DOD, including reporting requirements.

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