Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request: U.S. Government Accountability Office
What GAO Found
GAO's fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget request of $525.1 million seeks an increase of 3.9 percent to maintain staff capacity as well as continue necessary maintenance and improvements to our information technology (IT) and building infrastructure. Additionally, receipts and reimbursements, primarily from program and financial audits, and rental income, totaling $30.9 million are expected in FY 2015.
GAO recently issued our draft Strategic Plan for Serving Congress in FYs 2014-2019. The plan outlines our proposed goals and strategies for supporting Congress's top priority. I also have met with the Chairs and Ranking Members of many of the standing committees and their subcommittees to hear firsthand feedback on our performance, as well as prioritize requests for our services to maximize the return on investment.
In order to address Congressional priorities, and fulfill GAO's mission, a talented, diverse, high-performing, knowledgeable workforce is essential. Workforce and succession planning remain a priority for GAO. A significant proportion of our employees are currently retirement eligible, including 34 percent of our executive leadership and 21 percent of our supervisory analysts.
In 2014, through a targeted recruiting strategy to address critical skills gaps, GAO plans to boost our employment level for the first time in 3 years to 2,945 Full Time Equivalents (FTE). The requested FY 2015 funding level will preserve strides planned for FY 2014 to increase our staff capacity. In conjunction with the ongoing recruiting efforts and planning, we will revive our intern program and hire and train an increased number of entry level employees. This will reverse the downward staffing trajectory, develop a talented cadre of analyst and leaders for the future, achieve progress in reaching an optimal FTE level of 3,250 FTE, and assist GAO in meeting the high priority needs of Congress.
We also take great pride in reporting that we continue to be recognized as an employer of choice, and have been consistently ranked near the top on "best places to work" lists.
Improvements to our aging IT infrastructure will allow GAO to further streamline business operations, increase staff efficiency and productivity, as well as improve access to information. Planned investments in IT will address deferred upgrades and enhance our technology infrastructure to support an array of engagement management, human capital, and financial management systems.
We also plan to continue upgrading aging building systems to ensure more efficient operations and security. Areas of focus include, increasing the energy efficiency and reliability of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system; enhancing continuity planning and emergency preparedness capabilities; and addressing bomb blast impact mitigation efforts
Why GAO Did This Study
GAO's mission is to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. GAO provides nonpartisan, objective, and reliable information to Congress, federal agencies, and to the public and recommends improvements, when appropriate, across the full breadth and scope of the federal government's responsibilities.
GAO's work supports a broad range of interests throughout Congress. In FY 2013, GAO received requests for our work from 95 percent of the standing committees of Congress and almost two-thirds of their subcommittees. Additionally, senior GAO officials testified at 114 hearings on national and international issues, before 60 committees and subcommittees that touch on virtually all major Federal Agencies.
GAO remains one of the best investments in the federal government, and GAO's dedicated staff continues to deliver high quality results. In FY 2013 alone, GAO's work yielded $51.5 billion in financial benefits--a return of about $100 for every dollar invested in GAO. Since FY 2003, GAO's work has resulted in:
- over 1/2 trillion dollars in financial benefits; and
- about 14,500 program and operational benefits that helped to change laws, improve public services, and promote sound management throughout government.
GAO is requesting a budget of $525.1 million to preserve its staff capacity and continue critical information technology and building infrastructure investments.
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