WASHINGTON – The United States Senate on Tuesday evening is expected to consider legislation that would simplify the process through which the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is able to audit, evaluate and investigate government agencies.
The legislation, known as the GAO Access and Oversight Act, unanimously passed the House of Representatives less than two weeks ago and was introduced by Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.).
“The GAO must be able to perform its duties to protect taxpayer dollars and ensure the federal government is transparent and accountable. However, GAO’s important mission has been blocked due to some federal agencies failing to cooperate. I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to act swiftly on this legislation to ensure GAO is able to conduct their investigations properly,” Carter said in a statement following passage.
The GAO has been in operation since 1921 but was called the General Accounting Office until it was renamed in 2004.
The GAO is independent from Congress and is considered to be a nonpartisan agency. Its mission is to monitor how and to what end federal taxpayer dollars are spent.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who is co-sponsoring the legislation along with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), said the bill will help keep federal agencies accountable to taxpayers.
“Taxpayers deserve a win for common-sense and I’m grateful that we’re close to putting this important oversight bill on the President’s desk,” Sasse said in a statement. “This is about helping taxpayers’ watchdogs expose Washington waste and abuse.”