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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

PREPARED STATEMENT

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:]

(155)

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

detail.

This is my first opportunity to discuss with you GAO's

resource needs.

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

information.

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

Federal operations.

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

actions.

GAO's fiscal year 1981 appropriation was about

$220 million.

Last fiscal year GAO issued 578 reports containing about

2,500 recommendations to the Congress and the heads of executive

agencies.

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.

PROGRAM EMPHASIS

To do so,

we must explore new ways and develop new

initiatives.

In that regard, during the past year we have:

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flexibility than they had under categorical grants,
determinations relating to their accountability

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

information needs.

95-563 О - 82 - 11

--Established several new initiatives to improve GAO's

ability to assess the overall management of Federal

agencies.

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

eration.

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

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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

Congress.

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

year.

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

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