Category Archives: Auditing and Financial Management

Working toward Implementing the DATA Act

Federal agencies spend more than $3.7 trillion a year. But it’s not always easy to get reliable, useful, and consistent information about this spending—information that can help improve oversight, decision making, and transparency. So, Congress passed the Digital Accountability and … Continue reading

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When the Federal Government Makes Improper Payments (podcast)

Federal government agencies made an estimated $137 billion in improper payments in fiscal year 2015. These were payments that shouldn’t have been made at all or were sent in the wrong amount. Here is Beryl Davis, a director in our … Continue reading

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Managing for Results in the Federal Government (podcast)

Every year, certain executive branch federal agencies are supposed to identify their major management challenges and report on their specific plans to fix them. But are they following through and effectively identifying challenges and solutions? Listen to Chris Mihm, managing … Continue reading

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Will “Hamilton” Win Big? Its Namesake Already Inspired a Lot of GAO Work

Alexander Hamilton has quite the legacy: he was the first Secretary of the Treasury; he created a plan for managing the national debt; and he is now the inspiration behind the Tony Award-nominated musical, Hamilton. In anticipation of this Sunday’s … Continue reading

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Auditing the Government’s Books

Congress and the President need reliable, useful, and timely financial information so they can make difficult budget choices and deal with the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. Each year, we audit the governmentwide financial statements to help make sure good information … Continue reading

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The DATA Act Turns 2

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, known as the DATA Act, is 2 years old today. This law is supposed to make it easier to get reliable, standardized information on federal spending. Today’s WatchBlog explores what we’ve found … Continue reading

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Unused Federal Grant Dollars (infographic)

The federal government awards grants to states, nonprofits, universities, and others to help meet a variety of national goals. But not all of this grant money reaches its destination. So what happens to the hundreds of millions of unspent grant … Continue reading

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Federal Grants and Other Assistance

Federal grants pay for all manner of things, including highways, health care, and education. Today’s WatchBlog follows the money trail of federal grants, discusses ways to improve grant management, and explores some ways the federal government can help states and … Continue reading

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Getting Closure on Our Recommendations

Last year, we blogged about why agencies implement GAO’s recommendations. Looking at our annual Performance and Accountability Report, you can see that we’ve averaged 1,800 recommendations a year with an average 80% implementation rate between fiscal years 2010-2015. This adds … Continue reading

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All About Agency Financial Statement Auditing

Every year, GAO audits selected agencies’ financial statements and the consolidated financial statements of the federal government. We’ve discussed the results of our federal government audit on the WatchBlog before, but we wanted to provide more context on the agency-level … Continue reading

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