GAO Mission and Operations:

Fiscal Year 1996 Budget Estimates for the General Accounting Office

T-OCG-95-5: Published: May 26, 1995. Publicly Released: May 26, 1995.

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GAO discussed its fiscal year (FY) 1996 budget request. GAO noted that it: (1) is restructuring its operations and work processes to serve as a model for the federal government; (2) is achieving efficiencies through better use of technology, quality management principles, and staff training to meet its workload; (3) is reengineering its job management process to reduce the cost and time to complete audit reports; (4) is adopting best management practices in each of its units; (5) is raising the consciousness of its staff and congressional requesters as to the costs of producing its audit products; (6) is planning to reduce its staff to 4,000 by FY 1997, although it is concerned that that staff level may not be adequate to properly oversee government activities and detect problems in a timely manner, particularly for complex and technically challenging issues; and (7) will need adequate time to accomplish its downsizing effort without substantial disruption to its organization and employee morale. GAO also noted that: (1) a 25 percent reduction in its FY 1996 budget would prevent it from carrying out its responsibilities; (2) its workload has significantly increased during the new Congress; (3) GAO work helps to ensure a more efficient and cost-effective government, expose waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement, target budget reductions, provide insights on how to accomplish downsizing goals, and ensure financial and information management accountability; and (4) it is undertaking outside reviews of its work to improve its operations.

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