GAO budget request puts premium on modernization efforts

The congressional watchdog said it plans to shift from an on-premise data center to a cloud environment.
(Getty Images)

The Government Accountability Office has modernization on its mind for fiscal 2025, with a report on its budget request released this week aimed in part at fueling the congressional watchdog’s embrace of cloud technology.

In requesting from Congress $916 million in appropriated funds — up 6.5% from its FY2024 ask — and another $59.8 million in offsets and supplemental appropriations, the GAO said it intends to leverage the cloud as it moves to adopt emerging technologies more quickly. 

That leverage will come from the GAO’s plan to shift from an on-premise data center to a cloud environment, a move that the watchdog said will allow it “to grow in agility and better engage IT modernization and cybersecurity strategies.”

“GAO is implementing Zero Trust Architecture principles to enhance cloud services with access and authentication controls using the cloud-based Secure Access Security Edge,” the GAO wrote in its request. “Zero Trust allows GAO to transition from traditional perimeter-focused security models to cloud focused models with security controls throughout the infrastructure.”


The budget request also includes “small program and inflationary increases” for GAO’s Information Technology and Building and Security programs. Those budgetary boosts will go toward “enhanced cloud data management and storage solutions, as well as IT security upgrades to combat the ever-growing cybersecurity threats toward U.S. assets,” the GAO wrote, adding that funds will also support planned work from the agency’s Innovation Lab.

Beyond modernization, GAO said its budget request would support five critical areas of importance to Congress and the country at large: national security enterprise, fraud prevention, science and technology, cybersecurity, and health care costs.

The GAO said it will continue to assess the development and execution of the White House’s national cybersecurity strategy, while also paying close attention to the 16 critical infrastructure sectors and how federal information systems are secured.

“Escalating threats, including new and more destructive attacks from around the globe, highlight the critical and persistent need for effective cybersecurity,” GAO wrote. 

Matt Bracken

Written by Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken is the managing editor of FedScoop and CyberScoop, overseeing coverage of federal government technology policy and cybersecurity. Before joining Scoop News Group in 2023, Matt was a senior editor at Morning Consult, leading data-driven coverage of tech, finance, health and energy. He previously worked in various editorial roles at The Baltimore Sun and the Arizona Daily Star. You can reach him at

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