What can the U.S. Congress do to strengthen the American Republic? What can the American voter do?
One way the American Government works is [simplified]: (1) The Government Accountability Office evaluates the bureaucracy and reports to Congress; (2) Congress passes a new law after critical evaluations; (3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 indefinitely. For example:
in the DOD personnel security clearance program, which we placed on our high-risk list in 2005, congressional activities included (1) passing two pieces of legislation that collectively established a goal related to the timeliness of issuance of personnel security clearances, specified performance measures, and required annual reports to Congress; (2) holding over 14 oversight hearings; and (3) requesting that agencies work with us to identify performance measures for investigative quality. Sustained congressional attention helped the agencies reduce the amount of time security clearances took from an average of over 300 days following the terrorist attacks of 2001 to almost 60 days on average in fiscal year 2010 for industry personnel. As a result of the progress that was made, we removed the DOD personnel security clearance program from our high-risk list in February 2011.*
So, the American voter can do their own evaluation. Like, what were the new mechanisms which helped reduce the days it took for security clearances? Was it more employees or new technology? Perhaps they hired a database development firm, or maybe only half as many people applied for security clearances in later years?
These “starting points” can help us answer how to change our beloved Republic for our own best interests.
The important questions that will reshape the system are a click and an hour away. So feel free to comment with something you find from GAO, or to #GAOchange in the comment section below.
Really, check it out: GAO Browse By Topic
- Agriculture and Food (1,513)
- Auditing and Financial Management (9,770)
- Budget and Spending (4,867)
- Business Regulation and Consumer Protection (1,236)
- Economic Development (2,995)
- Education (1,435)
- Employment (4,957)
- Energy (2,411)
- Equal Opportunity (1,209)
- Financial Markets and Institutions (1,354)
- GAO Mission and Operations (547)
- Government Operations (8,210)
- Health Care (4,637)
- Homeland Security (1,411)
- Housing (1,211)
- Human Capital (3,164)
- Information Management (711)
- Information Security (376)
- Information Technology (1,323)
- International Affairs (2,673)
- Justice and Law Enforcement (7,714)
- National Defense (7,203)
- Natural Resources and Environment (3,328)
- Retirement Security (1,120)
- Science and Technology (494)
- Space (846)
- Tax Policy and Administration (1,469)
- Telecommunications (693)
- Transportation (3,160)
- Veterans (1,140)
- Worker and Family Assistance (1,632)
Let me know what you find interesting… [: comment :]
1776: Commitment to republicanism!***
** 1776 picture from here.
* Managing for Results: Opportunities for Congress to Address Government Performance Issues. GAO-12-215R: Published: Dec 9, 2011. Publicly Released: Dec 9, 2011.