Comments on S. 61

B-202251: Published: Jun 24, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 1981.

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Legislation has been proposed which provides for a reduction in federal travel and consultant costs and improved federal debt collection operations. In January 1981, the President acted to reduce federal agencies' use of consultants by about 5 percent and reduce travel costs by about 10 percent. GAO continues to be concerned about imposing unrealistic limitations on the use of program funds for one particular purpose, such as travel. Program managers will comply with arbitrary limits because they have to; however, they are also responsible for meeting their program objectives and may use other methods that require less travel but are also less satisfactory. GAO would prefer to have the Office of Management and Budget, other government agencies, and Congress focus on desirable program levels through the executive and legislative budget processes. This would be better than their focusing on one program aspect such as travel or consultant costs, completely out of the context of program objectives.

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