Congressional Oversight Reform Proposals

PAD-78-73: Published: Jun 8, 1978. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 1978.

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GAO was requested to consider the congressional role of overseeing government programs and develop suggestions for improvements in the process. Congress currently reviews programs and decides on their continuation, modification, or continuation, within the framework of the general objectives and features of proposals pending in Congress. Ways of strengthening the oversight process are discussed, particularly the nature of congressional review of broad policy subjects.

Programs and activities in policy subject areas designated in biennial concurrent resolutions on oversight should be reviewed over an 8-year cycle. Any program not reviewed in the 8-year cycle should be presumed to be a candidate for termination. A mechanism should be instituted to designate reauthorization for any individual programs which are not now subject to the reauthorization process.

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