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(AFTERNOON SEssiox, 1 P.M., MONDAY, MAY 10, 1982)
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
STATEMENT OF HOX. CHARLES A. BOWSHER, COMPTROLLER GENERAL
OF THE UNITED STATES ACCOMPANIED BY:
MILTON J. SOCOLAR, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE COMPTROLLER
GENERAL AND GENERAL COUNSEL RICHARD L. BROWX, CONTROLLER
Senator MATTINGLY. The subcommittee will come to order.
This afternoon we will hear from the General Accounting Office on their request for fiscal year 1983 and the 1982 supplemental appropriations. We welcome you, Mr. Bowsher. If you would like, you can read your entire statement, or hopefully, you will condense it. It has been given to us. We can go to questions.
Your entire prepared statement will be inserted in the record at this point.
(The statement follows:]
STATEMENT OF CHARLES A. BOWSHER
I am pleased to be here today to discuss GAO's budget
request for FY 1983.
The "Justification of Estimates for
FY 83," which you already have, describes our request in
This is my first opportunity to discuss with you GAO's
I look forward to a positive, constructive
relationship with the Subcommittee during my tenure as
Comptroller General. Since taking office in October 1981,
I have been meeting with staff to familiarize myself with
how GAO goes about doing its work.
That effort has helped
me crystalize some issues and problems that I want to
address during my first several years as Comptroller General.
There is no doubt that GAO's most important role is to
provide timely assistance to the Congress on relevant issues. I have been impressed with the willingness of the GAO staff
to do whatever is necessary to provide the Congress useful
But I have also been impressed by the speed of
events and the needs of Congress for information.
I want us
to do a better job of getting the Congress information when
it needs it.
I want, therefore, to explore different ways
to present our information to meet this objective.
I want GAO to continue to be the Congress' greatest asset
in its efforts to achieve better economy and efficiency in
GAO is the one Federal agency with full
time, Governmentwide responsibility to help Congress find ways to reduce Federal spending and make Government work better.
GAO's record shows that it has consistently made recommendations which have saved the Government many times its appropriation.
For example, action taken by the Congress and the execu
tive branch in fiscal year 1981 on GAO recommendations saved
the Government about $8.5 billion.
About $7.6 billion in sav
ings resulted from congressional actions on GAO recommendations, while another $890 million resulted from executive branch
GAO's fiscal year 1981 appropriation was about
Last fiscal year GAO issued 578 reports containing about
2,500 recommendations to the Congress and the heads of executive
To date, about 70 percent of these recommendations
have already influenced improved Government operations.
Over the last 5 years (FY 77-81), congressional and agency
actions on GAO recommendations which can be quantified saved
$24 for each dollar appropriated to GAO.
We will continue
to make sure the Congress gets its money's worth out of GAO.
To do so,
we must explore new ways and develop new
In that regard, during the past year we have:
flexibility than they had under categorical grants,
will have to be carefully considered and a uniform
conception of audit responsibilities will have to
be developed. We have had discussions with
numerous congressional staff about our block grant
audit activities so we can be most responsive to their
95-563 О - 82 - 11
--Established several new initiatives to improve GAO's
ability to assess the overall management of Federal
We should be in a position to report to the
Congress and executive agency heads periodically on how
well agencies are managed overall from planning, budget
formulation, financial management, procurement, per
sonnel management, audit and inspections, management information system, and program evaluation perspectives.
In addition to these new initiatives, GAO will continue its efforts to carry out its basic mission effectively.
--I have stressed that all GAO assignments undertaken
pursuant to our basic statutes should have a direct
bearing on improved management or better redistribution of existing Federal funds for Federal programs -or activities, or should make a direct and important
contribution on a major issue expected to be debated
before the Congress within the next 2 to 3 years.
--I want GAO to do more to improve financial manage
ment in the Government.
Too often top managers
have not given sufficient attention to the benefits
that can accrue from having sound financial manage
ment systems. We need to do a better job of alerting
them to these benefits and of working with the
agencies to approve and implement, on a more timely
basis, sound financial management reporting systems.
--I want GAO to continue to improve its capability to
provide timely, relevant reports on the results of
programs and ways to make them more effective.
We must do a better job of following up on our recommen
dations to assure that agencies are giving them proper consid
Consistent with this emphasis is our need to make
relevant recommendations and identify the underlying causes of
the problems we uncover.
We are analyzing open recommendations
more systematically with the aid of our computerized document
system and monitoring detailed agency responses to OMB on the
is that I be able to work with a relatively stable organization
in terms of staff levels.
We should not only continue to foster
economy and efficiency in other Government operations, but we
should also look critically at our own operations and resources
so that we focus on those issues most relevant and timely to the
During my tenure I intend to look closely at GAO's
staffing level to assure that the funding we seek is the minimum
necessary to do our work effectively.
The details of our request for the fiscal year 1982
supplemental and our fiscal year 1983 budget explain why I
believe our budget request is the minimum level necessary
to provide stability.
Fiscal Year 1982 Supplemental
I am greatly concerned that the funding already provided for fiscal year 82 will not support the 5,100 staff-year level
recommended by the Congress and that resulting staff reductions will significantly disrupt our ongoing operations. We have
restricted our hiring, but attrition has fallen below the level anticipated in the budget approved by the Congress for the
We will do what we can to avoid a deficiency situation,
but our funding is very tight.
The lack of adequate funding creates instability and uncer
tainty in job assignments and affects our ability to get jobs