General Accounting Office441 G St. NWWashington, D.C. 20548(202) 512-5500www.gao.govFounded: 1921Comptroller general: David WalkerEmployees: 3,275What 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 CRUNCHING2003 budget request: $458 million2002 budget: $432 million2001 budget: $408 million
RECENT IT-RELATED REPORTSReport: VA Information Technology: Management Making Important Progress in Addressing Key ChallengesReport Number: GAO-02-1054T 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 ChallengesReport Number: GAO-02-1083TReleased: Sept. 18 Report: National Airspace System: Status of FAA's Standard Terminal Automation Replacement SystemReport Number: GAO-02-1071 Released: Sept. 17 Report: National Preparedness: Technology and Information Sharing ChallengesReport 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 RemainReport Number: GAO-02-689 Released: July 15 Report: Human Services: Federal Approval and Funding Processes for States' Information SystemsReport Number: GAO-02-347T Released: July 9 Report: Executive Office of the President: Analysis of Mandated Report on Key Information Technology AreasReport Number: GAO-02-779R Released: June 28THINGS 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 officerTook the job: Jan. 1, 2000Hometown: Sharon, Pa. Home now: Annandale, Va.Family: Wife Linda, daughters Monica and KatherineHobbies: Golf and home remodelingLast book read: "Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission" by Hampton SidesAlma Mater: Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska, master's degree from Cal State Long BeachWhat 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. 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.
GAO GOALSBetween 2002 and 2007, GAO likely will issues reports in the following areas: Effective system of justicePhysical infrastructureSecurity threatsMilitary capabilities and readinessAdvancement of U.S. interestsGlobal market forcesHuman capitalProgress toward results-oriented, accountable governmentFinancing of government