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Some info. about the GAO

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. The head of GAO, the Comptroller General of the United States, is appointed to a 15-year term by the President from a slate of candidates Congress proposes. Gene L. Dodaro became Acting Comptroller General of the United States on March 13, 2008, succeeding David M. Walker, who appointed him upon resigning. Mr. Dodaro will serve in this position until the President nominates and the Senate confirms a successor from a list of candidates proposed by the Congress. - http://www.gao.gov/about/index.html

On September 19, 2007, GAO analysts voted by a margin of two to one (897–445), in a 75% turnout, to establish the first union in GAO's 86-year history. The analysts voted to affiliate with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), a member union of the AFL-CIO

AUGUST 20, 1921, 1 COMP. GEN. 81
Excerpt- THE AUTHORITY OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS TO ACT AS FISCAL AGENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THEIR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH IS IN SEC. 15 OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE ACT APPROVED DECEMBER 23, 1913, 38 STAT., 265.

Response to Questions Bearing on the Feasibility of Closing the Federal Reserve Banks
The Monetary Control Act of 1980 requires Federal Reserve banks to begin charging their national and State bank customers for services by September 1981. There is speculation that when Federal Reserve banks charge for service, private commercial banks will compete for and eventually win the Federal Reserve System's customers. Considering these factors, and in the interest of holding down Government spending, GAO was asked to: (1) review the costs to operate the banks; (2) determine the estimated market value of the banks' property and equipment; (3) review the operating costs of one bank in detail, including administration; and (4) present a discussion of the implications of closing the banks.

Funds for operating the Federal Reserve banks are not appropriated by Congress, but are provided out of Reserve bank earnings from open market trading and other sources. In 1980, Reserve bank earnings were estimated to be $12.8 billion; operating costs were $790 million. Expenses are broken down into four major categories representing the Reserve banks' major functions: (1) monetary and economic policy; (2) fiscal agency functions; (3) services to financial institutions and the public; and (4) bank supervision and regulation. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's operating costs represent almost 7 percent of Reserve banks' operating expenses. Federal Reserve banks own many kinds of property, mostly real estate and equipment valued at slightly over $853 million, that is used in carrying out normal bank operations. The hypothetical closing of the Federal Reserve banks raises a number of important service and policy issues. The roles of the Federal Reserve banks as formulators of monetary policy, as arms of the central bank, and as commercial bank supervisors have been shaped and refined and have grown for nearly 70 years. It is not apparent that any one alternative is ready or able to replace them. Even on a service-by-service basis, no obvious alternative surfaces which clearly answers all of the policy and service questions.

A search for the "federal reserve" will lead to many results.An interesting note is that from 1928 - 1934 there are no results for the federal reserve,yet every year after 1934 and before 1928,there is at least one result a year.During that span the president was Herbert Hoover (1929 – 1933),the end of Calvin Coolidge term(1928,29) and the beginning of Franklin D. Roosevelt term (1933,34) and the "great depression".The comptroller at the time was John R. McCarl 1921-1936,theres not much information on him that I've found.

Until the end of World War II, GAO primarily checked the legality and adequacy of government expenditures. The agency issued decisions on payment questions and helped process financial claims for and against the government. GAO's employees reviewed individual financial transactions by checking expenditure vouchers. They also audited and reconciled disbursing officers' accounts. The work was done centrally, which meant that government agencies had to send their fiscal records to GAO. - http://www.gao.gov/about/history/earlyyears.html

The current Acting Comptroller General is Gene L. Dodaro

The Comptroller General has the responsibility to audit the financial statements that the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget present to the Congress and the President. For every fiscal year since 1996, when consolidated financial statements began, the Comptroller General has refused to endorse the accuracy of the consolidated figures for the federal budget, citing "(1) serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense, (2) the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and (3) the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements."



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