Fiscal Year 1999 Budget Request for the U.S. General Accounting Office

T-OCG-98-3: Published: Mar 19, 1998. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 1998.

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GAO discussed its fiscal year (FY) 1999 budget request.

GAO noted that: (1) its FY 1999 request is necessary to maintain its capacity to serve Congress effectively and to support its efforts to stabilize agency operations following GAO's downsizing; (2) GAO asked that the committee consider a FY 1999 budget of $369.7 million; (3) the increase included in this request is for three principal purposes: (a) mandatory pay and benefits and uncontrollable cost increases; (b) technology modernization and upgrades to replace outdated technology and ensure year 2000 compliance; and (c) funding to move closer to GAO's employment goal of 3,450; (4) mandatory pay and benefit increases are the most important and account for the largest part of GAO's request; (5) these increases are necessary to cover uncontrollable costs; (6) GAO's staff accounts for about 80 percent of its budget dollars; (7) it is also important to offset other uncontrollable inflationary increases, and other mission essential support services; (8) without additional funding to cover these costs, GAO's capacity to function effectively will be impaired; (9) GAO needs to continue efforts to modernize its technology to maintain the productivity and timeliness gains that such technology has thus far made possible; (10) investments required in FY 1999 will replace outdated software and hardware and will ensure that GAO is year 2000 compliant; (11) this year, GAO has begun efforts to correct the skill imbalances resulting from its downsizing; (12) GAO's recruiting plan calls for it to replace attrition and gradually move closer to the agreed upon 3,450 employment level by the end of FY 1999; (13) GAO is requesting funds to provide for personnel compensation, benefits, and related costs to make this possible; (14) GAO's FY 1999 budget request does not include funding for the GAO headquarters building renovation program; (15) last year GAO analyzed its facilities requirements to determine whether GAO could lease any excess space in its headquarters building and use the revenue generated from that lease to renovate the two remaining unrenovated floors and supporting infrastructure of the building; (16) on the basis of that analysis, negotiations are now underway for the Army Corps of Engineers to lease the entire third floor of the building; and (17) this lease should provide the funds necessary to permit completion of GAO's renovation program.

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