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GAO: Promoting Accountability and Transparency in Government Cheryl Whitaker Deputy Chief Administrative Officer U.S. Government Accountability Office May 18, 2009
GAO’s Mission GAO exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.
GAO at a Glance • An independent, nonpartisan agency in the legislative branch of the federal government • 3,200 multi-disciplinary staff • Issues hundreds of reports, congressional testimonies, and other products each year on breadth of federal responsibilities • Guided by our strategic plan and core values
Our Core Values Accountability Help the Congress oversee federal programs, policies and operations to ensure accountability to the American people. Integrity Ensure that our work is professional, objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, balanced and fair Reliability Provide high-quality, timely, accurate, useful, clear, and candid information.
Importance of Measurement • Focuses on results • Lends transparency • Assures Congress, clients and taxpayers • Shows return on investment or “value” • What gets measured gets done!
GAO’s Measurement Framework • 6 year Strategic Plan • Balanced Scorecard • Performance Accountability Report RESULTS CLIENT PEOPLE INTERNAL OPERATIONS
Internal Operations Score Scale has been adjusted to illustrate trending in scores year over year.
Leading by Example • Obtained 22nd consecutive “clean” opinion from independent auditors • Unqualified opinions from two separate peer review teams on quality assurance systems • Awarded Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) • Voluntary complied with OMB Circular A-123 and the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act • Expanded internal controls review program
Accountability Resources on GAO.Gov • List of GAO’s accountability partners • Auditing and accountability links • Best practices for government programs and activities • GAO Federal Information System Controls Audit Manual (FISCAM) • GAO/PCIE Financial Audit Manual • Peer review results • Special publications on auditing, evaluation guidance
American Recovery & Reinvestment Act: GAO’s Role • Conduct bimonthly reviews of selected state and localities • Commenting on the estimates of the number of jobs • Reviewing areas such as trade adjustment assistance, new education incentive grants, and efforts to increase small business lending