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U.S. General Accounting Office: The Role of GAO in Assisting Congressional Oversight

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Technical Report

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United States General Accounting Office Washington United States

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I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the role of the United States General Accounting Office GAO in assisting the United States Congress in conducting oversight of the executive branch. GAOs mission is to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. GAO is an independent, professional, nonpartisan agency in the legislative branch that is commonly referred to as the investigative arm of the Congress. The Congress created GAO in 1921 in the Budget and Accounting Act in order to assist it in the discharge of its core constitutional powersthe power to investigate and oversee the activities of the executive branch, the power to control the use of all federal funds, and the power to make laws. We have seen our role evolve over the decades as the Congress has expanded our statutory authority and called on us with greater frequency for oversight, insight, and foresight in addressing the growing complexity of government and our society.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Administration and Management

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