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GAO: A watchdog muzzled?
The Government Accountability Office issues hundreds of reports each year detailing billions of dollars in cost-savings. Its role, which has evolved since it was first created as the General Accounting Office in 1921, is considered essential to the congressional oversight process. But last year, Congress cut the GAO's budget and officials announced it was on track to hit its lowest staffing levels since the 1930s. Employees and oversight advocates worry how a reduced budget and staff will impact the agency's effectiveness.
The Government Accountability Office issues hundreds of reports each year detailing billions of dollars in cost-savings. Its role is considered essential to the congressional oversight process. But last year, Congress cut the agency's budget.
The General Accounting Office became the Government Accountability Office in 2004, helping cement an ongoing shift — from strictly financial accounting to broad program evaluations — at the congressional watchdog agency.
Federal News Radio set out to find out what it takes to produce a Government Accountability Office report. It turns out, a lot of hard work, a handful of dedicated employees, the patience for hours of painstaking research and maybe even some good old-fashioned detective work.