The Government Accountability Office faces a $27.3 million reduction under sequestration, dropping its funding level to $514.4 million, according to a report from the agency.
The cuts would drop the agency’s staffing level to 2,875 full time equivalent employees, which will represent a drop of 472 FTEs – or more than 14 percent – over the past three years.
“It is imperative that GAO rebuild its staff capacity to a level that will enable us to optimize the benefits we yield for Congress and the nation,” the report said. “Given the size of the federal budget and the multi-year actions needed to address the seriousness of the government's fiscal condition, investing resources to restore some of GAO's staff capacity would be a prudent and wise investment that will produce positive outcomes for the Congress and our country.”
The agency said the additional staffing reductions would adversely impact GAO's ability to:
- Identify cost savings and other suggestions to help Congress address the government's serious deficit and debt issues;
- Provide timely and responsive information to support congressional deliberations or reauthorization activities for pending programs; and
- Effectively assist Congress in addressing the broad array of social, economic, and security challenges facing the nation.
In its report, GAO said it has given the United States government $55.8 billion in financial benefits – a return of $105 for every dollar invested in the agency – over the past fiscal year. Since 2002, GAO said, the agency’s work has resulted in $500 billion in financial benefits for the American public.