Friday, October 23, 2015

Role of Government Accountability office in Governance and public sector performance improvement by J. Christopher Minh

The Public Administration and Public Affairs hosted a great session on October 23rd 2015 of J. Christopher Minh, Managing Director of Strategic Issues in the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). He discussed the role of GAO in Governance and public sector performance improvement.

The GAO is an independent agency assisting and supporting Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government. GAO investigates the efficiency and effectiveness of expenditure by federal government and reports to congress. They maintain professional standards of review and referencing.  All facts and analysis in their work are thoroughly checked for accuracy and consistency with the Fundamental Auditing Principles of the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions.

Their work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is mandated by public laws or committee reports. They also undertake research under the authority of the Comptroller General. They support congressional oversight by1

  • auditing agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively;
  • investigating allegations of illegal and improper activities;
  • reporting on how well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives;
  • performing policy analysis and outlining options for congressional consideration; and
  • issuing legal decisions and opinions, such as bid protest rulings and reports on agency rules.

They advise Congress and the heads of executive agencies about ways to make government more efficient, effective, ethical, equitable and responsive.
About two third of reports and recommendations of the GAO has been accepted by the Government. As a result, a lot of improvements in Government operations have been experienced in last few years. The GAO has been able save billions of dollars of taxpayers of America.


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