Letter to the Editor

U.S. has comptroller

Friday, April 21, 2006

Dear Editor,

Your April 17 article about "McCook's own, J. Raymond McCarl," was an excellent recollection of an outstanding public servant who served as the first Comptroller General of the United States.

But it concluded with a significant factual error when it stated that the position has been eliminated and replaced with two federal Inspectors General.

There is still a Comptroller General of the United States. David M. Walker, a certified public accountant, became the seventh occupant of the office when he took his oath on Nov. 9, 1998. His term lasts until 2113.

The Comptroller General heads the U.S. Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress. The GAO assists the Congress in evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of federal programs and policies. Among other responsibilities, the Comptroller General also signs the annual audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements of the U.S. Government. More information can be found at our website, www.gao.gov.

As a final note, I think Mr. McCarl would be pleased that Mr. Walker visited Nebraska earlier this month. He spoke about our nation's long-term fiscal challenges at the University of Nebraska in Omaha on April 4.

Paul Anderson

Managing Director, Office of Public Affairs

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Washington, DC

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