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It is easy for those inside and outside of the “beltway” to take shots at the workings of the federal government. Admittedly there are problems with talent acquisition and retention, fiscal management, and project management just to name a few. However, one of the beacons of hope is our very own Government Accountability Office.

The GAO is an independent, non-partisan body charged with investigating how government tax dollars are expended. They are the eyes and ears of the citizenry and they are amazingly effective. For a relatively paltry $522 million dollar operating budget, the government has been able to save $40 billion in the past 2 years alone by fully implementing some GAO recommendations. This amounts to a payback of 76 to 1; historically their payback is even higher at about 100 to 1.

So when the GAO releases its 2015 High Risk List, we should pay attention. When we realize that less than half of the high risk areas ever identified have been fully implemented, we should be concerned. When independent research suggests that “repeated examination in a particular area does not improve implementation rates”, we should be ashamed.

Let’s go all in with the GAO.