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Mr. BENJAMIN. We are tearfully aware of that.
Mr. STAATS. And we are required by law to audit those expenditures.
Now, in the past year alone, Congress enacted 16 separate statutes giving us additional responsibilities; that is just in this 1 last year. This represents, as best we can estimate, between a 350 and 400 staff-year requirement. It is the largest increase in GAO's workload in any one year in its entire history
Our work for the Committees and Members of Congress has also increased in this period from 33 percent of our total work to 37 percent. Our testimony load has increased 50 percent in the last year. We appeared before committees of Congress this past year 164 times, and we currently have 37 hearings scheduled before the Congress.
Recently we had to pull 57 people off of other work to put them on a Special Task Force on Fraud, Abuse and Error in Government because of the concern expressed here in the Congress about the growing problems in the fraud area. And we anticipate that these 57 people we will have to keep on in 1980.
(The information follows:)
During the first 6 weeks of the operation of the hotline, we received over 5000 calls. This resulted in approximately 3000 written allegations which required classification as to materiality, arency and procram involved, and geographic location. Calls have becn received from virtually every state, the District of Columbia, and overseas locations. Calls relate to every major department and most of the smaller, independent agencies. We have done an initial computer screening of 1900 cases, the results of which are summarized in the following table.
WORKLOAD IMPACT OF PENDING LEGISLATION Mr. STAATS. We are not asking for any new staff for new workload that would be generated in this Congress. We know that this is likely to happen. There are eight bills pending today in the Congress which would give GAO additional responsibilities.
One of these, for example, is the lobby registration statute. Both the House and Senate bill would provide that GAO would administer that statute. It depends on which version comes through as to how it will affect our workload, but both the House and Senate bill contemplate that we have to take on that responsibility.
the growth course, percent of the
You have properly emphasized that the priority that this Congress should be giving to reducing the Federal budget deficit, and I think that GAO has helped, and I think we can help Congress more in this regard. In the past two years, direct quantifiable savings that are auditable, resulting from GAO recommendations, add up to $8.2 billion. That is more than 20 times our budget for those two years.
More than three-fourths of these savings came as a result of work that we initiated ourselves in GAO. It is this self-initiated work which will suffer if we cannot obtain additional staff for the new work which Congress continues to give us.
I would like to make one other point before I turn to my prepared statement. I know there has been expressed concern about the growth and the cost of the legislative branch budget of which we are, of course, a part. I would like to emphasize, though, that not more than 75 percent of the budget of the legislative branch is really in direct support of the Congress itself. Many activities of the GAO, the Library of Congress, and the Government Printing Office carry out governmentwide responsibilities. Sixty-three percent of the work we do cannot be properly charged as direct support to the Congress, and 37 percent properly can.
But even so, even if you charge the full billion dollars the budget for the entire legislative branch represents less than two-tenths of one percent of the total Federal budget. This certainly does not seem unreasonable and I don't really personally see why Congress needs to be apologetic.
But if you want to look at it from a different point of view, with the money that the GAO saves for the legislative branch, you can say Congress is making a profit, or you are making a net reduction in the budget. GAO savings this last year were $242 billion. The previous year they were between $5.6 and $5.7 billion, so as far as the GAO is concerned, I would like to make this additional point: The GAO's increase in the last 10 years is only about two-thirds of the rate of increase for the Congress, as a whole.
So we are here today, I think, Mr. Chairman, looking for help, and we think we can help serve the Congress better, to save money, and to improve the operations of the Federal Government. We can't continue to save money if our budget continues to go down instead of up, when everything else is going up. Our workload has had a terrific increase.
So I am really making a plea here for some relief. I feel strongly about the mission of GAO, obviously, and I think that the fact that Congress is turning to GAO more and more for help and for testimony is an indication that they feel that way about it, too. But we need some relief from where we are today.
That is the overall situation, as I see it, and, if I may, I would like now to turn to the supplemental request that we are asking for, which is less than the five percent reduction we took, by the way.
Unless you have questions I will go ahead with the 1980 presentation Mr. BENJAMIN. I would be pleased if you would.
FISCAL YEAR 1980 APPROPRIATION REQUEST Mr. STAATS. The request we are supporting today is for $206,763,000 to fund 5,350 staff years. It is an increase of $17,506,300 over our fiscal year 1979 obligational authority and the supplemental funding that we have requested for that year. Of this total increase of $17.5 million, $6.2 million is necessary to fund 168 additional staff years for workload increases which we must meet and over which we have virtually no control. The balance of the increase-$11.3 million-is required to support our current operations.
The GAO "Justification of Estimates for Fiscal Year 1980”, which has already been given to you, details the basis for our request and the manner in which we plan to use all of the resources that we have requested for that year. My statement today will point up the reasons that I believe it is important for GAO to be funded at this increased level and to briefly describe and illustrate the kinds of workload increases that we now know we must meet in fiscal year 1980. I will also discuss the extent to which we have kept the requested increase to a minimum through plans to absorb major portions of the increased workload by reprograming from day-to-day responsibilities under GAO's basic statutes.
Since January 1978, when we presented our fiscal year 1979 appropriation request, our workload-which we will have to perform in fiscal year 1980—has increased by 350 staff years. This workload has been the result of completed congressional actions and increased congressional requests for audits and evaluations. As a part of our fiscal year 1979 supplemental request, we are requesting some partial relief-totaling 82 staff years—to meet the fiscal year 1979 impact of these new workload demands. In this requestfor fiscal year 1980—we are asking for the continued funding of these 82 staff years, plus funding for an additional 168 staff years in 1980. The aggregate, or 250 staff years, will only partially satisfy the significant increase in workload that we must perform.
Since my appointment in 1966, there have been many statutory changes, such as the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which both broadened the scope of GAO's overall responsibilities and added to our specific responsibilities.
However, this tremendous increase in workload, aggregating 350 staff years in less than one year is unparalleled in our history. It