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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed proposed legislation to repeal its permanent authorization and mandate reauthorization every 8 years. GAO noted that: (1) periodic reauthorization would be a serious mistake; (2) periodic reauthorization would make GAO subject to partisan political pressures and compromise its credibility; (3) independence and credibility are critical to the GAO mission; (4) reauthorization would impair GAO independence by giving the executive branch too large a role in GAO activities and subjecting any GAO reauthorization bill to a presidential veto; (5) GAO is already subject to congressional review through both the appropriations process and committee oversight; (6) GAO must continue to have the independence to examine any federal program without regard to political considerations; and (7) GAO could be more useful to Congress in exercising its oversight responsibility if congressional committees are encouraged to hold biennial oversight hearings on all major agencies.

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