Government Accountability Office , It’s a real Agency

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C. , I came across this little gem of an office building. I had never heard the name of the organization before and, quiet frankly, I got a little excited about there possibly being a high-class activism organization. Well, that optimism was very short-lived. In the picture above this article can be seen a gentleman with a badge exiting the door. I thought nothing of this of course, I was on a public sidewalk simply taking a picture, the guard had other ideas.

He began to approach me, informing me that I was barred from taking pictures. I inquired about this, stating that I was a reporter and informing him that from a public easement I have every right under the first amendment to take pictures, video to my heart’s desire. He then began to inform me again that i couldn’t per his boss’s orders. I bid him a good day and went about my business for the day.

Step forward a week, I returned to the building , found their front desk and simply asked if they had a press liaison. The two guards at the front desk looked at each other and laughed before responding  “Sir, there is nothing like that here, this isn’t THAT kind of organization”. I was simply stunned. So, I left and returned home to do more research.

According to their website, GAO.Gov,

Our Mission is to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. We provide Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced.

Our Core Values of accountability, integrity, and reliability are reflected in all of the work we do. We operate under strict professional standards of review and referencing; all facts and analyses in our work are thoroughly checked for accuracy. In addition, our audit policies are consistent with the Fundamental Auditing Principles (Level 3) of the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions.

Our Work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is mandated by public laws or committee reports. We also undertake research under the authority of the Comptroller General. We support congressional oversight by

    • auditing agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively;
    • investigating allegations of illegal and improper activities;
    • reporting on how well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives;
    • performing policy analyses and outlining options for congressional consideration; and
    • issuing legal decisions and opinions, such as bid protest rulings and reports on agency rules.

We advise Congress and the heads of executive agencies about ways to make government more efficient, effective, ethical, equitable and responsive.

Our work leads to laws and acts that improve government operations, saving the government and taxpayers billions of dollars.

GAO is consistently ranked one of Best Places to Work in the Federal Government on the Partnership for Public Service’s annual list.

Can someone please explain to me how an Organization that is in charge of being the checks and balances of government overstep and constitutional violations manages to train their own security guards to violate the 1st amendment rights of citizens? This is in essence government and their bureaucracy in a nutshell. They create program after program, agency after agency. They perform investigation after investigation into rights violations and what do they find? They almost always find that they have investigated themselves and found no wrongdoing.

This is on every level of government. No matter what they say they won’t hold themselves accountable , because in their eyes they are only accountable to themselves. The problem is, people let them get away with it. No one stands up, but when some do the rest of the population villanies them. Portray them as UN-patriotic and  that solves the problem.

What solutions can we, as a people, as a community of individuals across the world, come up with? Our current system and ideologies aren’t working, may you think it’s time we change tracks, then maybe, just maybe , man can begin to move forward and evolve again.

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