Bill awaiting president’s approval would eliminate GAO audits considered outdated

A recently passed bill awaiting the president’s signature would eliminate unnecessary and outdated audits that Congress requires the Government Accountability Office to conduct each year.

The GAO Mandates Revision Act, which the Senate passed in September and the House approved on Dec. 13, would cancel or modify eight annual projects the accountability office has deemed outdated. 

Congress occasionally passes laws requiring the GAO to examine specific programs and agencies every year, often without providing an end date for the statutes. The office is then required to review the programs annually, even after the importance of the audits has waned. 

Examples include a yearly examination of an export-import allowance program for Haiti that has become virtually inactive and a financial audit of the American Battle Monuments Commission, which will soon conduct its own fiscal reviews.

According to the GAO, those types of analysis create duplicative work.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who sponsored the legislation, said in a statement that the measure would “avoid weighing down this research powerhouse with unnecessary and outdated work that can take months, even years, to complete.” 

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Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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