Power Players | 5 - David Walker

David Walker

Position: Comptroller General of the United States.

Tenure: He began serving his 15-year term in November 1998.

2006 Power Player position: No. 3.

What he has done: Walker has said he wants the Government Accountability Office to be a model of government management, and in the past year, he worked to make workforce issues a cornerstone of his tenure. Government comptrollers serve 15-year terms, which gives the top official at GAO the ability to propose changes and implement them. The shift in congressional leadership added to the agency’s power as oversight and accountability became the new buzzwords in Congress. Although some oversight organizations have become embroiled in controversy, GAO has sought to set an example as an agency that watches, critiques and helps other agencies improve how they operate.

Challenges ahead: For the first time in GAO’s history, it has a unionized workforce. The challenge for Walker will be how to implement change within a collective bargaining agreement. It might also help him understand the challenges that many other agencies face in that regard.

FCW power forecast: Strong.

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