GAO Holds The Government To account
You’d think in this new age of transparency, governments would be more accountable for their actions than they used to be. But apparently not. Which is why we have institutions like the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in the United States, to augment the work of Congress in holding the Government to account. And by all accounts, it seems to be doing a fairly good job, including in the area of tax administration. Indeed, barely a month goes by without the GAO calling out the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies for such things as lapses in protecting taxpayer information, ongoing vulnerability of systems to fraud, and various other forms of maladministration and wastage. While the GAO has no legal authority as such, the fact that it is able to expose administrative shortcomings is often enough in itself to bring about changes, and the IRS is known to act on its recommendations.
Still, the GAO is no trifling operation itself with an annual budget of half-a-billion dollars and more than 3,000 full-time equivalent employees. Who’s checking how that money is spent, or how all these staff members are performing, I wonder? Maybe it’s time for a new watchdog, the GAOAO – the Government Accountability Office Accountability Office.
For more information on this, and other topical international tax matters, please visit: https://www.cchgroup.com/roles/corporations/international-solutions/research/global-tax-weekly-a-closer-look