GAO Mission and Operations:
Summary of GAO's Performance and Financial Information Fiscal Year 2010
GAO-11-3SP, Jan 24, 2011
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This report presents the highlights of GAO's fiscal year 2010 Performance and Accountability Report. The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the Congress, exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help the Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. To fulfill its mission, GAO organizes and manages its resources to support four broad strategic goals. These include helping to address challenges to the well-being and financial security of the American people, responding to changing security threats and global interdependence, and transforming the federal government to address national challenges. Strategic goal 4 is an internal goal focused on enhancing GAO's value through improving its efficiency, effectiveness, and quality, and institutional stewardship and resource management. GAO maintains a workforce of highly trained professionals across a breadth of academic and scientific disciplines. About three-quarters of the approximately 3,200 employees are based at GAO headquarters in Washington, D.C.; the rest are deployed in 11 field offices across the country.
In fiscal year 2010, GAO met or exceeded 14 of its 15 annual performance targets by, for example, identifying $49.9 billion in financial benefits--a return of $87 for every dollar GAO spent--and 1,361 improvements in laws and government programs and operations. The rate at which GAO's recommendations were implemented by federal agencies or the Congress was 82 percent, and over two-thirds of the products issued contained recommendations. GAO did not meet its testimony target but testified at 192 hearings before the Congress on a variety of topics across its body of work, over a third of which were on areas considered at high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. Results for people measures, such as staff development and organizational climate, also met or exceeded targets.