Washington, DC – Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) applauded the plan released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to merge its Office of Special Investigations (OSI) with forensic auditors to create a larger high-impact unit capable of addressing government programs of particular concern. Senators Collins and Lieberman had asked Comptroller General David Walker to consider ways to enhance the integration of the agency’s investigative, auditing, and analytical strengths. Senators Collins and Lieberman are the Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over GAO. This new unit will focus on selected high risk areas within federal agencies and financial management of government programs. The new group would still also be expected to respond to Congressional requests.
“We believe that the combination of GAO’s talented investigators and forensic auditors can achieve results well beyond what each realizes on its own,” said the Senators in a joint statement. “The goal is to develop a dedicated interdisciplinary staff capable of conducting reviews of any government program, particularly where there is alleged waste, fraud, or abuse, quickly uncovering any problems and offering constructive solutions to them. We are also very pleased to learn that Greg Kutz, one of GAO’s finest leaders, will head up the new group.”