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Transition Issues: Critical Issues and Problems Facing the New Administration and Congress

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Technical Report

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United States General Accounting Office Washington United States

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We are pleased to appear before the Committee to offer our views on critical issues the Congress and new administration must deal with if government is to function well. Our message is not too optimistic. I wish I could tell you that the problems we face in our government operations are small and easily solved. The truth is that our problems are major, they are growing and they will not be easily or quickly dealt with. The essence of federal management is policy implementation and delivery of program services. And a failure to invest sufficiently in key operations of government leads to a number of unpleasant consequences. First, it undercuts our ability to offer the American people the one thing they have every right to expect -- a government that works well in providing services. Second, because government operations affect our dealings with other nations -- in areas of trade, diplomacy, law enforcement, defense and others -- such a failure has international ramifications. Third, because government operations are linked with the smooth functioning of the private sector the nations business community is inevitably affected when we fail to invest in the central operations of government. Unfortunately, GAOS work over the past decade has shown too often that we have not invested wisely in key government operations. The budget deficit and our reluctance to deal effectively with it have resulted in too many short-sighted decisions.

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  • Government and Political Science

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