Congressional Oversight:

The General Accounting Office

T-OCG-96-2: Published: Apr 30, 1996. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 1996.

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GAO discussed its work. GAO noted that: (1) in the last 5 years, GAO work has resulted in financial savings and other benefits at a return of $55 for every dollar appropriated for GAO; (2) it has developed a cadre of experts who have helped federal agencies improve their information systems and financial, property, and inventory management; (3) despite budget cuts, it has maintained or increased its productivity; (4) GAO work directly resulted in financial statement requirements for federal agencies and first alerted the nation to the savings and loan crisis and the risk of derivatives; (5) it has established five broad, high-priority work areas that seek to improve government efficiency and cost-effectiveness, expose fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, reduce the deficit, improve accountability, and identify trends with fiscal, budgetary, or oversight consequences; (6) to improve its productivity, it is streamlining its operations and downsizing its workforce, improving its work and reporting processes, using advanced information resources technology, and enhancing its methodological and technical skills; (7) further staff cuts may affect its accountability and jeopardize its ability to conduct audits and investigations; (8) an independent study has recognized the value of GAO and its nonpartisan and nonideological nature; (9) in response to the study's recommendations, it has taken steps to focus and improve its work and optimize its usefulness to Congress; and (10) it will continue to guard its reputation for independence, credibility, and integrity while meeting Congress' needs.

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