Key Committee Approves Carper Bill to Reduce Unnecessary and Outdated GAO Reviews

Legislation Would Help GAO Focus Limited Resources

WASHINGTON – Today, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously approved Sen. Tom Carper’s (D-Del.) bill, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Mandates Revision Act (S. 3315), legislation that would help the work of GAO by reducing the number of unnecessary and outdated congressionally-mandated GAO audits and reviews. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine) are cosponsors of the measure.

“The Government Accountability Office delivers Members of Congress, our staffs and the public invaluable information and research on bills, programs, initiatives and issues throughout the federal government,” said Sen. Carper. “GAO reports help those of us in government – Republicans and Democrats alike – do our jobs better and help us make our government more efficient, effective, and productive. That’s why it is so important that we don’t weigh down this research powerhouse with unnecessary and outdated reviews, audits, and exams, which can take months – even years – to complete. Streamlining the requirements that Congress places on the Government Accountability Office will allow this critical agency to continue to focus its limited resources on its most important work and help Americans get a better bang for their buck. I will continue to work with my colleagues to move this money-saving bill forward.”

Congress often requests that the GAO perform an examination of a program, agency or other federal activity, but sometimes these GAO exams and audits are established as an annual review with no end date. However, in several cases, the program under study could end or the importance of the review could wane, yet the GAO is still required to continue its review until Congress changes its original statute. This problem leads to duplicative or unnecessary work for GAO, which often results in long delays for Congress to receive new GAO work. The GAO Mandates Revision Act lists eight outdated projects proposed by GAO to cancel or modify.