Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

So we do not expect much objection.

Senator FEINSTEIN. What you are saying, though, is even at the $30 level, that does not really cover costs?

Ms. PETERS. No.

We went to full cost recovery for all fee services except the basic registration fee. Fees will bring in 70 percent of the money that it takes to operate the Copyright Office. We have programs, such as our policy programs, public information programs and the mandatory deposit system which brings material into the Library of Congress from people who choose not to register their works, that are covered by appropriated funds.

Senator FEINSTEIN. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BENNETT. Do you have any additional questions?

. Senator FEINSTEIN. No. I think that completes it for me, Mr. Chairman. But I would just say that I am the biggest fan of both CRS and the Library. I think this is one of the very best things the Federal Government does. Senator BENNETT. I agree absolutely.

I I have one last question. Mr. Mulhollan, you mentioned this in your remarks, but I want to get it focused and crystallized.

CONCERNS OF PUTTING CRS PRODUCTS ONLINE Senator McCain has introduced legislation to require posting of CRS products on the Internet. While this bill is different from the one introduced to the last Congress, I am assuming that you are still concerned about the impact that it would have and would like to give you an opportunity to comment on the impact of the new bill so when it comes up on the floor or wherever, we will have the benefit of your specific comment on the bill issue.

Mr. MULHOLLAN. Thank you, Senator.

Again, I appreciate the compliments inherent in the measure and the proposal itself, and the changes it made, one of which is to have the CRS material on the Senate website. I do believe it intends to try to address some of the legal issues we had identified.

As you recall, speech and debate protections are focused on the legislative function, not the informing function. As a result, the concern would be that if the wholesale dissemination of the Service's products are put up, the courts would see us as having an informing function, not focused on legislation.

The Senate Legal Counsel is currently defending CRS against a discovery right now in fact. We have always won these discoveries, particularly leading with the speech and debate protections, and sustained the position that our sole client is Congress and that as our work is focused on the Congress, it is a legislative function.

The concern that I have is that the basis of most of those works that are distributed to all Members of Congress, is the research for the confidential memoranda—there were 2,400 last year-and briefings that we did on our research. The risk is that underpinning could be exposed and be on a court docket under discovery because they would go behind the report to get original, and confidential material.

So that is still a primary concern. So I am looking to those measures.

The Senate Rules and Administration Committee took seriously the concerns and sent out a Dear Colleague letter last year that urged members and committees to select those items that they deemed appropriate for use by their constituents and to place them on their Web sites.

That's fine. CRS products have always been placed in committee hearings and submitted for the record, as chosen by that Member.

The concern is not that the selection will not be there but the wholesale dissemination of the Service's products. That, I think, is a critical role. I believe, as a matter of principle, as we discussed last year, it is appropriate for a constituent to go to the Senator, whom they elect and for whom they have responsibilities, when they have a question on legislation, not to an unelected bureaucracy. We serve you and support you on those issues.

Another concern, of course, is the fact, as you very well know, that the Legislative Branch is severely constrained in funding. We anticipate, as part of the cost estimate, that those costs range between $2 million and $7 million, and that, in fact, it would represent a shift of focus of scarce resources to a public function and away from serving Congress.

To be perfectly frank, I feel that we are doing our best to help Congress with legislation. But I feel that Congress needs more help and that, anything that shifts resources away from Congress and to serving the public, will diminish our capacity to help with the legislative function.

In addition, over time it may shift our focus. The concern is that—and I am someone who pays attention and everyone tries to maintain their professional ties—if the products become more and more open as public documents, it could shift analysts' focus to their association and their professional expertise rather than the legislative work at hand and this is the focus that we are trying to get for you.

Senator BENNETT. Thank you. I appreciate that and we appreciate your frankness last year. I am glad to have an update on the legislation this year. I have decided not to co-sponsor that particular piece of legislation.

Thank you very much. We appreciate your coming and we will do our very best to give you the support you need.

GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE

STATEMENT OF DAVID M. WALKER, COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE

UNITED STATES

WELCOMING REMARKS

Senator BENNETT. Our second witness is Mr. David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States.

We are delighted to welcome you sir, if for no other reason, than that I will no longer have to hear Senator Dorgan complain about the fact that the office is still vacant.

I always joined in those complaints with him. I never criticized him because I think his crusade to get that done was very well placed.

We miss Senator Dorgan on the subcommittee. But we are delighted you are here. We look forward to hearing your plans for the agency. You have been there for all of 6 months. So, naturally, you have all of the answers by now. [Laughter.]

I also want to acknowledge Jim Hinchman. His services as Acting Comptroller General during the interim period were very much appreciated. He had a difficult job to execute.

We want you to know, Mr. Hinchman, that the committee appreciates your stewardship of the agency during some difficult times. When we went through the downsizing experience the full burden fell on you.

Mr. Walker, your agency was in good hands while it was waiting for

your arrival. Mr. HINCHMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Senator BENNETT. The GAO requests $388.9 million for fiscal year 2000. As an old retailer, I know the difference in price points and the “.9" sounds good.

This is a 9 percent increase over the fiscal year 1999 level.

I do want to make one other comment-again, my obsession with Y2K problems. The Y2K issue would not be as close to a resolution as it is if it were not for the GAO.

Of all the agencies in the government, the GAO has been the most forthcoming, has had the highest level of expertise, and the greatest amount of candor than any government agency that we have dealt with.

Wearing my other hat, as chairman of the Senate Committee on the Year 2000, I can tell you we would not have been able to function without the GAO and without the high level of professionalism and honesty that they have brought to that challenge.

So, while we were cutting you back on the one hand, we were giving you additional duties on the other, and the agency has responded magnificently well. Senator Feinstein.

Senator FEINSTEIN. I think he ought to stop while he is so far ahead, Mr. Chairman. Those were very nice comments. [Laughter.)

Mr. WALKER. Can I get my pension today, Mr. Chairman? (Laughter.]

Senator FEINSTEIN. Mr. English just mentioned to me that this is Mr. Walker's first time here. It might be appropriate to put a biographical sketch in the record.

Senator BENNETT. I think that would be appropriate.

If you could, furnish us with what you think is appropriate for the committee. We would appreciate that.

Mr. WALKER. I would be happy to, Mr. Chairman. [The information follows:)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF DAVID M. WALKER David M. Walker was sworn in on November 9, 1998 at the age of 47, as the 7th Comptroller General of the United States in he agency's 77-year history. Before coming to GAO, Mr. Walker served at Arthur Andersen & Company in Atlanta as a partner and global managing director of the firm's human capital services practice. Mr. Walker was head of the firm's work in helping organizations maximize their investments in human capital. He also was in charge of the firm's employee benefit plan audit/assurance and independent fiduciary/risk management practices, and served on the board of Arthur Andersen Financial Advisors. His work, international in scope, involved engagements in a wide range of public and private sector organizations, including government, financial services, institutional funds, insurance, transportation, manufacturing, health care, professional services, telecommunications, utilities, agriculture, defense contracting, retail, real estate, and energy. He is a co-author of the recent book “Delivering on the Promise: How to Attract, Manage, and Retain Human Capital”; and the author of "Retirement Security: Understanding and Planning Your Financial Future”, published in 1997.

After graduating from Jacksonville University in Florida where he earned a B.S. degree in accounting in 1973, Mr. Walker who is a CPA and registered investment advisor, worked in auditing at Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse, and in regional operations management with Source Services Corporation, an international human resources consulting and search firm, and Coopers & Lybrand. His 12 years of federal experience from 1983 to 1995—included service as acting head of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, as Assistant Secretary of Labor for pension and welfare benefit programs, and as a public trustee of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Mr. Walker has also earned an SMG certificate in public policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Mr. Walker was born on October 2, 1951 in Birmingham, Alabama, was married in 1970 to Mary Etheredge, and is the father of two grown children, Carol and Andrew.

Senator BENNETT. He comes from the private sector of consulting and accounting. I have forgotten which was your firm-Arthur Andersen? Mr. WALKER. Arthur Andersen

Arthur Andersen most recently and Price Waterhouse Coopers previously.

Senator BENNETT. We are delighted to have you here. We welcome you. We hope this will always be if not a happy at least a somewhat satisfying annual experience for you.

HIGHLIGHTS OF GAO ACTIVITIES Mr. WALKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Feinstein. It is a pleasure to be here.

As you noted, Mr. Chairman, I am new in the job 4 months on the calendar but 6 months on the clock. You were probably going by the clock, I would imagine. We have had some fairly long hours lately.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »