Information On US Government Reports.
Congress, which is the legislative body that decides how taxpayer money is spent, is also monitored by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Comptroller General of the United States
Commonly referred to as the congressional watchdog
agency, the GAO operates independently and is completely nonpartisan. Leading the agency is the Comptroller General. Congress submits a group of candidates for the position to the President. Then, the President chooses the man or woman for the position and the new Comptroller General holds that position for a term of 15 years.
Goals of the GAO:
- To support the Congress in carrying out the duties set out in the Constitution. The GAO provides objective information, based on facts, without regard to how that information will reflect on either the Democratic or Republican members of the legislative body.
- To hold the members of Congress accountable to the American people for the way they spend the taxpayer’s money.
Guiding Values of the GAO:
Above all else, the GAO values integrity. Every individual of the agency is held to a very high standard when researching, reviewing and referencing materials that are used to create important government reports. When a government report is presented to Congress, it has been checked for factual accuracy All analysis is reviewed at several levels for errors, signs of bias, or statements that may be confusing and ambiguous.
Requests for Reports:
Government reports are initiated when a congressional committee or subcommittee requests them to assist with the performance of their duties of the office. They may also be ordered to comply with existing law that mandates periodic government reporting.
Areas of Congressional Oversight:
- Audits that determine if federal funds are spent in the most efficient and effective way
- Investigation of allegations of corruption or illegal activities
- Evaluation of the quality of results of existing federal spending programs
- Analyzing current policy and making suggestions for improvement
- Presenting legal decision and opinions that may influence further congressional action.
- Presentation to Congress:
- When the GAO researches and gathers data, they organize it in a neatly bound report called a blue book. Sometimes they are called upon to testify in front of Congress. All reports, except those deemed classified, are also made public within 30 days of issue to Congress.