Progress in Improving Program and Budget Information for Congressional Use

PAD-77-73: Published: Aug 30, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 1977.

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As required by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, GAO has assisted both authorizing and appropriations committees by providing leadership and assistance in: meeting their recurring needs for program and budget information; developing systems for authorizing committees' oversight and budget activities; using information generated by the evaluative approach of the act to assist committees in their budget as well as oversight activities; and facilitating the future congressional use of zero-base budgeting information.

During the past year, GAO developed an automated database for providing program authorization and budgetary information obtained from executive agencies to authorizing committees. The database contains information on federal programs and activities authorized by legislation and has been substantially developed for most committees. GAO has continued working to identify needs for information at the program level and recommended improved structures for reporting information in budget justifications, the budget appendix, and other documents. GAO is working on improving budget practices; the focus is on the methods of financing now being used, those proposed for federal programs and on the related effectiveness of the congressional control they provide. GAO is also working toward improving standard classifications to best satisfy congressional information needs. However, the Office of Management and Budget has resisted change in several areas.

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