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Comptroller Statement on FY 2013 Budget Request

Comptroller Statement on FY 2013 Budget Request

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Published by: Sunlight Foundation on Feb 07, 2012
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02/07/2012

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UnitedStatesGovernmentAccountabilityOffice
GAO
TestimonyBeforetheSubcommitteeonLegislativeBranch,CommitteeonAppropriations,HouseofRepresentatives
ForReleaseonDeliveryExpectedat9:30a.m.ESTTuesday,February7,2012
FISCALYEAR2013
BUDGETREQUESTU.S.GovernmentAccountabilityOffice
StatementofGeneL.DodaroComptrollerGeneraloftheUnitedStates
GAO
Accountability
*
Integrity
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Reliability
GAO-12-T
 
Mr.Chairman,RankingMemberHonda,andMembersoftheSubcommittee:IappreciatetheopportunitytobeheretodaytodiscusstheU.S.GovernmentAccountabilityOffice's(GAO)budgetrequestforfiscalyear(FY)2013.IwanttothankthesubcommitteeforitscontinuedsupportofGAO.WeverymuchappreciatetheconfidenceyouhaveshowninoureffortstohelpsupporttheCongressincarryingoutitsconstitutionalresponsibilitiesandtohelpimprovegovernmentperformanceandaccountabilityforthebenefitoftheAmericanpeople.GAOisrequestinganappropriationof$526.2millionforFY2013tosupportastaffinglevelof3,100.Thisfundinglevelrepresentsamodestincreaseof2.9percentoverFY2012,andis5.4percentbelowourFY2010level.ThemajorityoftherequestedincreaserepresentsthefirststepinrebuildingourstaffcapacitytoalevelthatwillenableustooptimizethebenefitsweyieldfortheCongressandthenation.WehavecarefullyreviewedeveryaspectofouroperationsfromazerobasetoidentifyopportunitiestoreducecostswithoutsacrificingthequalityofourworkandpreservingourabilitytoassisttheCongressinaddressingthemostimportantprioritiesfacingthenation.However,giventhatstaffcostsnowrepresentabout81percentofourbudgetandthedeepreductionsalreadytakeninourinfrastructureprograms,reducingthesizeofourworkforcecouldnotbeavoided.BytheendofFY2012,forthefirsttimeinover75years,GAO'sstaffinglevelwilldropbelow3,000staff,resultinginanetreductionof11percentinourstaffcapacity,or365people,inonlya2-yearperiod.Giventhecurrentsizeandscopeofthefederalgovernmentandthedemandforourservices,thisstaffingreductionwillresultinmissedopportunitiesforustoidentifywaystosavemoneyandgeneraterevenueatatimewhenthecountryneedsusmost.Iamalsoveryconcernedaboutmaintainingourhighlyskilledworkforcebybothreplacingdepartingstaffandaddingmorehighlyskilledtalenttoaddresssuccessionplanningchallengesandskillgaps.ThecosttorestoreourstaffcapacitywouldbemorethanoffsetbybillionsofdollarsinsavingsandotherefficienciesresultingfromGAO'swork.ThroughproductivediscussionswithourManagers,Union,EmployeeAdvisoryCouncil,DiversityAdvisoryCouncil,andourstaff,GAOhassignificantlyreducedspendingthroughouttheagencyinareasrangingfromhumanresourcestotraveltoinformationtechnology(IT)to
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achievea$45millionor8.1percentfundingreductionsinceFY2010.But,nowweseekyoursupporttobeginamultiyearefforttorebuildourworkforcetoultimatelyachieveatargetfull-timeequivalent(FTE)of3,250.WebelievethisistheoptimallevelwithinthecurrentenvironmenttomosteffectivelyservetheCongressandproduceahighreturnontheinvestmentinGAO.ItwouldbeourgoaltoreturntothisFTEstaffinglevelinfutureyearfundingrequests.GAOisuniqueinourauditandevaluationcapacitytosupporttheCongressbyperformingoriginalresearch,providingtechnicalassistance,andconductinganalysestohelptheCongressmakeinformeddecisionsacrossallsegmentsofthefederalbudgetresultingintangibleresultsandenhancedoversightneededtoaddresstheseriousnessofthegovernment'sfiscalcondition.Inorderforustobemosteffective,GAOneedstobeofasizecommensuratewiththecurrentandemergingchallengesfacingthefederalgovernmentandtheseriousnessofitsfiscaloutlook.WeareextremelylimitedinourabilitytotargetadditionalreductionswithoutadverselyimpactingourcapacitytosupporttheCongressinreducingcostsandimprovinggovernmentduringthiscriticalperiod.
GAOSupportsCongressionalDecision-making,SavesResourcesandHelpsImproveGovernment
GAO'sworkdirectlycontributestoimprovementsinabroadarrayoffederalprogramsaffectingAmericanseverywhereandremainsoneofthebestinvestmentsacrossthefederalgovernment.Withthiscommittee'ssupport,inFY2011,GAOprovidedassistancetoeverystandingcongressionalcommitteeandabout70percentoftheirsubcommittees.GAOissueshundredsofproductsannuallyinresponsetocongressionalrequestsandmandates.OurworkyieldedSignificantresultsacrossthegovernment,includingfinancialbenefitsof$45.7billion-areturnoninvestmentof$81foreverydollarinvestedinGAO.Ourfindingsandrecommendationsproducemeasurablefinancialbenefitsforthefederalgovernment,enabledthroughtheactionsofCongressandExecutiveBranchagencies,ultimatelymakingfundsavailabletoreducegovernmentexpenditures,reallocatefundstomoreproductiveareas,orincreaserevenues.Wedocumentedover1,300benefitsresultingfromourworkthathelpedtochangelaws,improveservicestothepublic,andpromotesoundmanagementthroughoutgovernment.About32percentofthesebenefitswereintheareaofpublicsafetyandsecurity,suchashomelandsecurityandjusticeprogramsandcriticaltechnologies.
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