GAO Mission and Operations:
Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Estimates for the U.S. General Accounting Office
T-OCG-96-6, Jun 14, 1996
GAO discussed its fiscal year (FY) 1997 budget request, focusing on its legislative oversight responsibilities. GAO noted that: (1) it testified approximately 250 times on issues such as budget savings, fraud, waste and abuse, and reengineering during FY 1995; (2) its expertise enables it to respond to congressional needs; (3) it has been able to fulfill additional audit responsibilities by taking advantage of modern technology and improving staff skills; (4) it has implemented federal downsizing initiatives by enacting separation incentives and early retirement programs, consolidating issue area staffs, closing regional offices, and reducing administrative staff; (5) it may not have adequate resources to carry out some of its mandated responsibilities; (6) despite budget cuts, its productivity in FY 1995 was 6 percent higher than in FY 1994; (7) its audit findings have resulted in nearly $120 billion in savings, almost $55 for every dollar appropriated to it; (8) its emphasis on high-risk programs reduces fraud in federal programs; (9) it targets spending reductions to reduce the budget deficit; (10) many of its reports alert Congress to major problems in government programs and processes; and (11) the federal government needs to invest more of its resources in better information resources management, implementing the Chief Financial Officer's Act, and reengineering job processes.