Congressional Oversight:

The General Accounting Office

T-OCG-95-1: Published: Oct 6, 1994. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 1994.

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GAO discussed its accomplishments and its future direction, focusing on actions it has taken in response to a report by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) on the roles, mission, and operations of GAO. GAO noted that: (1) although it does not formulate or make policy, GAO is occasionally asked by Congress, and required by statutory mandate, to provide information on policy issues before Congress; (2) it could improve the way it designs and carries out its work; (3) it has begun a number of projects to streamline its business operations as part of the GAO total quality management program; (4) it has an effort underway to better develop GAO work processes and it takes pains to ensure that all GAO products meet standards for fairness, objectivity, and accuracy; (5) it disagrees with the NAPA recommendation that opposes integrating the investigative work of the GAO Office of Special Investigations into routine audits and evaluations; (6) although it tries to obtain agency comments whenever possible, many congressional committees ask GAO not to do so because of the extra time added to the assignments; (7) although it agrees with the NAPA recommendation stressing the need for bipartisan requests for GAO work, there will never be 100-percent bipartisan agreement on GAO work; (8) it has worked to reduce the number of GAO staff detailed to congressional committees; and (9) although it cannot impose a shorter holding time for documents, GAO hopes to improve its ability to predict issuance dates for its reports.

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