WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, convened a hearing with the Comptroller General of the United States, Gene L. Dodaro, to examine the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) 2023 High Risk List – a biennial report that identifies federal programs that are vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse. During the hearing, Peters emphasized the important role that GAO plays in helping Congress ensure a more effective and efficient government. The hearing also discussed how the High Risk List has helped identify reforms – including many that have been led by Peters – to save taxpayer dollars, strengthen cybersecurity, address toxic substances, and improve our response to public health emergencies. Several issue area experts from the GAO also provided testimony to the Committee.
“The High-Risk List, and GAO’s important oversight work, have been vital resources for this Committee to identify problems and work on bipartisan legislation to improve the way the federal government works, and I hope we will continue those efforts this Congress,” said Peters during his opening statement. “Over the past 17 years, by addressing many of the concerns highlighted on the High Risk List, Congress and federal agencies have saved hardworking Americans more than $675 billion in taxpayer dollars.”
Peters continued: “Just within the last two years, the federal government has seen an estimated $100 billion in financial benefits due to improvements in high risk areas from changes issued in GAO’s 2021 High Risk Report.”
To watch video of Senator Peters’ opening remarks, click here. For text of Peters’ opening remarks, as prepared, click here.
To watch video of Senator Peters’ questions, click here.
Vulnerabilities in federal networks have been included in the High Risk List for years, and remain a concern for GAO. The hearing discussed how lawmakers can improve the government’s cybersecurity and Peters, who has led historic efforts to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity, said he plans to reintroduce legislation that passed the Senate last Congress to significantly bolster and modernize federal cybersecurity. Peters also asked how federal agencies can better assist critical infrastructure companies to stop disruptive cyber-attacks. Finally, Peters asked Dodaro if the GAO will continue conducting oversight over the Census Bureau to ensure this critical agency is able to provide a fair and accurate count of the American population during the 2030 Census.