Doing Business with the General Accounting Office

Facts and Figures about the GAO<@VM>In Profile: Anthony Cicco, CIO of the General Accounting Office

GAO goals


Between 2002 and 2007, GAO likely will issues reports in the following
areas:


Effective system of justice


Physical infrastructure
Security threats
<>
SIZE="2">Military capabilities and readiness
Advancement of U.S.
interests
Global market forces
Human
capital
Progress toward results-oriented, accountable government

Financing of government
 

Address General Accounting Office <>
SIZE="2">441 G St. NW Washington, D.C. 20548 <>
SIZE="2">(202) 512-5500 gao.gov

Founded:
1921


Comptroller general: David Walker

Employees:
3,275


What it does: GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency,
often referred to as the watch dog for Congress. It studies how the federal government
spends money and advises Congress and federal agencies on what it finds, with recommended
actions if necessary. GAO evaluates programs, audits expenditures and issues legal
opinions.


Major subagencies: Eleven offices throughout the
country.


NUMBER CRUNCHING

2003 budget
request: $458 million

2002 budget: $432 million
<>
SIZE="2">2001 budget: $408 million

RECENT IT-RELATED REPORTS


Report: VA Information Technology: Management Making
Important Progress in Addressing Key Challenges


Report Number: GAO-02-105


Released: Sept. 26


Report: Bureau of Public Debt: Areas for Improvement in
Computer Controls


Report Number: GAO-02-1082R


Released: Sept. 18


Report: Electronic Government: Proposal Addresses Critical
Challenges


Report Number: GAO-02-1083T


Released: Sept. 18


Report: National Airspace System: Status of FAA's Standard
Terminal Automation Replacement System


Report Number: GAO-02-1071


Released: Sept. 17


Report: National Preparedness: Technology and Information
Sharing Challenges


Report Number: GAO-02-1048R


Released: Aug. 30


Report: Federal Reserve Banks: Areas for Improvement in
Computer Controls


Report Number: GAO-02-1018R


Released: Aug. 29


Report: FDIC Information Security: Improvements Made but
Weaknesses Remain


Report Number: GAO-02-689


Released: July 15


Report: Human Services: Federal Approval and Funding
Processes for States'

Information Systems


Report Number: GAO-02-347T


Released: July 9


Report: Executive Office of the President: Analysis of
Mandated Report on Key Information Technology Areas


Report Number: GAO-02-779R


Released: June 28



THINGS TO NOTE:


--The 2003 budget request includes $4 million for security and safety enhancements identified following Sept. 11 and the anthrax cases. Some of these include better building protection against biological and chemical attacks and more background checks and security clearances for GAO employees and contractors.


--Fraudulent activity now can be reported to GAO via the Internet. The agency maintains
FraudNET, a Web site that allows people to file a report and remain anonymous if they
wish. I pulled up the filing form with no problem.


--You can't exactly do business with GAO. Its main focus is to make sure federal agencies
are fulfilling their missions and spending taxpayers' money wisely. However, if you're new
to the federal market, it's a good idea to peruse GAO's Web site and become familiar with
its mission. I found helpful the "Help Using This Site"

link on the agency's Web page.


--GAO is unique in that its leader,
the comptroller general, holds the office for a 15-year term. Most of its employees are
career civil servants. These measures are for continuity and to maintain the agency's
independence for its investigative works. Comptroller General David Walker's term began in
October 1998 and will expire in October 2013.



Anthony Cicco, chief information officer, GAO

Took the job: Jan.
1, 2000

Hometown: Sharon, Pa.
Home now:
Annandale, Va.

Family: Wife Linda, daughters Monica and Katherine

Hobbies: Golf and home remodeling
Last book read:
"Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic
Mission" by Hampton Sides

Alma Mater: Bachelor's degree from
the University of Nebraska, master's degree from Cal State Long Beach

<>
SIZE="2">What are the IT challenges the agency faces?
One of the
first is maintaining a sound security program internally and externally. Also,
demonstrating value to business by integrating our work more closely with business needs.


  What do you look for in companies with which you are thinking of doing business?
At the management level, the people I deal with must
have the customers' best interests in mind. I can sense quickly when their interests are
in maximizing revenue and customers' needs are secondary. I look for a level of integrity
that is focused on the customer, and obviously their technical skills.

<>
SIZE="2">A year from now, where do you see the department's technology capabilities?

We continue to do a stepwise progression. A year from now, our overall,
24/7 availability -- anywhere anytime access -- also, worldwide remote access; essentially
our auditors will be able to travel throughout the world and stay connected. Those are the
two things I see we'll add to our portfolio in the next year.
We
are changing our infrastructure so downtime will be minimized. We're never on Eastern
Standard Time. This will allow us to shorten the window where systems maintenance is being
performed. A third [goal would be to] work with business units in putting systems together
that make a lot of sense. We are heavily involved with business process redesign.

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