In fiscal year (FY) 2020, the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) work yielded $77.6 billion in financial benefits, a return of about $114 for every dollar invested in GAO. It also identified 1,332 other benefits that led to improved services to the American people, strengthened public safety, and spurred program and operational improvements across the government.
In FY 2020, GAO issued 691 products, and 1,459 new recommendations. Congress used this work extensively to inform its decisions on key fiscal year 2020 and 2021 legislation.
In March 2021, GAO reported on 36 areas designated as high risk due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement or because they face economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges. In FY 2020 GAO’s High Risk Series products resulted in 168 reports, 26 testimonies, $54.2 billion in financial benefits, and 606 other benefits.
In this year of GAO’s centennial, its FY 2022 budget requests $744.3 million in appropriated funds and uses $50.0 million in offsets and supplemental appropriations. These resources will support 3,400 full-time equivalents (FTEs). GAO will continue a hiring focus on boosting its Science and Technology and appropriations law capacity. GAO will also maintain entry-level and intern positions to address succession planning and to fill other skill gaps. These efforts will help ensure that GAO recruits and retains a talented and diverse workforce to meet the priority needs of the Congress.
In FY 2022, GAO will continue to support Congressional oversight across the wide array of government programs and operations. In particular, the watchdog’s science and technology (S&T) experts will continue to expand their focus on rapidly evolving (S&T) issues.
With the requested funding, GAO will also bolster capacity to review the challenges of complex and growing cybersecurity developments. In addition, GAO will continue robust analyses of factors behind rising healthcare costs, including costs associated with the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
Internally, the funding requested will make possible priority investments in GAO’s information technology that include the ability to execute transformative plans to protect data and systems. In FY 2022 GAO will continue to implement efforts to increase its flexibility to evolve IT services as mission needs change, strengthen information security, increase IT agility, and maintain compliance.
This request will also help address building infrastructure, security requirements, as well as tackle long deferred maintenance, including installing equipment to help protect occupants from dangerous bacteria, viruses, and mold. As reported in its FY 2020 financial statements, GAO’s backlog of deferred maintenance on its Headquarters Building had grown to over $82 million as of fiscal year-end.