by Jeanette Franzel & Maxine Hattery
It's Comptroller General-Designate Gene Dodaro Now
In a GAO career dating back more than 30 years, Gene Dodaro has risen through the ranks, and now, as Acting Comptroller General of the United States, he has been nominated by President Obama to continue his service as Comptroller General.
Before his current position, Mr. Dodaro served 9 years as Chief Operating Officer, the number two leadership position at the GAO, and led the development of the agency's strategic plans for serving Congress and improving government in the 21st Century. He also played a key role in guiding the GAO's efforts to highlight, through its High-Risk series, current and emerging issues that warrant attention from policymakers.
Until 1999, Mr. Dodaro headed GAO's Accounting and Information Management Division, the agency's largest unit. While there, he directed the first-ever audit of the comprehensive financial statements covering all federal departments and agencies.
Over the years, Mr. Dodaro has worked closely with the Congress and several administrations on major management reform initiatives, including the 1994 Government Management Reform Act, which expanded the Chief Financial Officers Act; the revised 1995 Paperwork Reduction Act and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, which require agencies to implement modern management practices for information technology management; and the 1996 refinements to the Single Audit Act. Mr. Dodaro also helped conceive GAO's strategy for strengthening computer security governmentwide and led the updating of standards for internal controls in the federal government.
Mr. Dodaro is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a member of the Association of Government Accountants, and has received recognition from many organizations including the National Public Service Award, the Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership, and the Arthur S. Fleming Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in the Federal Government.
The Comptroller General, who serves a nonrenewable 15-year term, is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. When a vacancy occurs in the office, Congress establishes a bipartisan commission of members to recommend individuals to the President. The commission must recommend at least three persons, and the President may ask Congress to recommend more. The President then nominates one of the recommended persons for confirmation by the Senate.
GAO Issues Exposure Draft of Revised Yellow Book
With the culmination of work since the 2007 revision, the time has come again for the accountability community to contribute its broad insight and weigh in on the next edition of generally accepted Government Auditing Standards, or GAGAS, also known as the Yellow Book. GAO invites comments from audit officials and financial management at all levels of government, the public accounting profession, academia, professional organizations, public interest groups, and other interested parties.
The proposed revision will be the sixth since GAO first issued the standards in 1972. To help ensure that the standards continue to meet the needs of the audit community and the public it serves, the revisions are based on recommendations from GAO's Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards, which includes experts in financial and performance auditing from federal, state, and local government, the private sector, public accounting, and academia.
The proposed changes reflect major developments in the accountability and audit profession and emphasize specific considerations applicable to the government environment. The major proposed changes were made to
- consolidate and reorganize the foundation and ethical principles for government audits and the standards for use and application of GAGAS (chapters 1 and 2),
- add a conceptual framework approach for independence (chapter 3),
- update the financial audit standards to (1) reflect recent updates to the auditing standards issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), where applicable, (2) more clearly identify the GAGAS requirements and guidance that supplement AICPA requirements for financial audits, and (3) consolidate the financial audit standards into a single chapter (chapter 4),
- distinguish the requirements related to each type of attestation work (chapter 5),
- update the performance audit standards to (1) limit the fraud reporting requirement to occurrences that are significant within the context of the audit objectives, with a requirement to communicate other instances of fraud in writing to those charged with governance, and (2) revise the discussion of validity as an aspect of the quality of evidence (chapters 6 and 7), and
- clarify language throughout the document.
To ease review and comment on the standards, the draft is accompanied by a summary of major changes and a brief set of discussion points intended to elicit comment on particular issues.
The Yellow Book exposure draft and related information are available on the GAO Web site through the Yellow Book link on the Resources for the Auditing and Accountability Community" page (http://www.gao.gov/govaud/ybk01.htm). Comments should be submitted by email to email@example.com by November 22.
International Auditor Fellowship graduation
Marking the end of an intensive 18-week training program, 22 members of the International Auditor Fellowship Program, Class of 2010, participated in a July 29 graduation ceremony with inspiration provided by the words of Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro and Juan M. Portal-Martinez, Auditor General of Mexico.
The class of 2010 included fellows from China, Gambia, Georgia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait Nigeria, Rwanda, Samoa, Singapore, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Zambia, Zimbabwe,
The program is designed to strengthen the ability of supreme audit institutions to fulfill their missions and to enhance accountability and governance worldwide. In addition to classroom training, the 2010 class gained insights into accountability at all levels of government through visits to international organizations such as the World Bank; attendance at the National Intergovernmental Audit Forum, where they learned about the interrelationships between state and local auditors, and a visit to the Philadelphia controller's office, among other activities.
A key aspect of their training is the development of a strategy paper for disseminating what they have learned at GAO to their audit office colleagues at home. Topics for this year's class included evidence and documentation, performance auditing of environmental programs, the use of information technology to enhance audit performance, and new-employee training.
GAO Again Rated No. 2 on List of Best Places to Work in the Federal Government
For the third time, GAO was second on the 2010 list of best places to work in the federal government compiled by the Partnership for Public Service and the Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation at American University.
GAO's composite score of 81.6 (out of 100) placed it just 0.2 of a point behind the Nuclear Regulatory Commission among the 32 largest federal agencies included in the study. Other high-ranking agencies included the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
GAO also came in second in the 2007 and 2009 "best places" rankings, which were then issued biannually; in 2005, the first time GAO was included, it ranked fourth.
Now issued every year, the rankings are based on survey responses by about 263,000 employees, in 290 federal entities, on their satisfaction with their jobs, the organization, and whether they would recommend the organization as a good place to work.
The complete rankings of the best places to work in the federal government can be found on the Internet at www.bestplacestowork.org.
GAO in Your Pocket with Widgets
GAO has launched a simplified version of its external Web site that is compatible with small-screen mobile devices. Page layout and navigation were designed with an eye to easier and faster access to GAO products.
Type in GAO's main-site URL (www.gao.gov) on a mobile device, and the mobile version opens automatically. The searchable site also allows users to browse the latest GAO reports, testimonies, and legal decisions and opinions, and "In the Spotlight" presents recent hot topics pertaining to GAO's work.
Share that on-point GAO report you just found with colleagues and friends using GAO sharing tools, or "widgets." The "Share/Save" link on the GAO Web site provides easy access to the 10 most popular sharing channels, including social networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace), social bookmarking sites (Delicious), and content aggregators (Digg, Reddit. Users can also choose to e-mail a link of the report, or to save it by imbedding a link in a blog or Web site or saving it as a favorite on their browser.
With the widgets in place, the site now offers a daily tabulation of the top 10 downloaded, shared, and e-mailed products.
These new facilities join Twitter and YouTube at GAO. On Twitter, GAO announces the issuance of reports and press releases, and posts videos on YouTube related to its work, including the recruiting video, "More Than Numbers." Earlier this year, GAO began posting audio podcasts of interviews with GAO officials on significant issues and new reports.