Letter: GAO not doing what it was created for
Regarding "GAO: Financial reports aren't reliable
At some point in this charade, somebody needs to blow the whistle on Government Accountability Office.
almost 20 years, the GAO has been using the Chief Financial Officers
Act and its pointless demand for government agencies to produce
commercial financial statements as if they were profit-seeking
businesses as an excuse to avoid doing the hard budgetary accounting
job that GAO was created to do. That job is to report each year to the
Congress on whether obligations by executive branch agencies were made
in accordance with what was specified in the authorization and
appropriation bills passed by the Congress for that year.
than doing that important and necessary budgetary accounting job,
however the GAO has opted for the easy, phony and non-value-adding
option of whining every year that because the government (which is not
a business) has trouble doing the financial accounting that
profit-seeking businesses must do, the GAO are simply "unable" to [do]
the statutory budgetary accounting and auditing job they are supposed
to do. Poor GAO.
Of course, what allows the GAO to keep getting
away with this charade every year is a politically astute Congress that
enjoys (surprise) having a way to blame the executive branch for what
are, in fact, its own failings to be proper stewards of the country's
wallet. By being able to point to GAO's inflammatory criticisms of the
executive branch's financial "failings" every year, the Congress has
cleverly found a way to avoid having to confront its own failings and
fool everybody all of the time. (Maybe David Walker finally realized
this and that's why he quit after 10 years as the head of GAO.)Christopher HanksWhat do you think? Paste a comment in the box below (registration required), or send your comment to [email protected] (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it.