GAO was requested to comment on H.R. 5552, a bill to protect the natural and cultural resources within the National Park System. GAO does not believe that the functions which section 17 of the bill would bestow on GAO represent appropriate responsibilities for an agency charged by Congress with evaluating and reviewing Government programs and reporting its findings to Congress. If enacted, section 17 would place GAO in the anomalous position of enjoining executive actions that GAO may later be called on to review and evaluate. The ability of GAO to provide disinterested, objective analysis and review would be jeopardized. Thus, section 17 would conflict with, and essentially undercut, the basic review responsibilities of GAO with regard to the executive branch actions which it covers. Accordingly, GAO urged that section 17 be deleted from H.R. 5552.
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