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Open Government

GAO recommends new tracking of political appointees

Congress should consider legislation compelling presidents to provide "comprehensive and timely" information on the number of political appointees serving in their administrations, the government's watchdog agency recommends.

"The public has an interest in knowing the political appointees serving and this information would facilitate congressional oversight and hold leaders accountable," the Government Accountability Office says in a report out this week. "No agency in the federal government is required to publicly report comprehensive and timely data on political appointees."

The GAO studied the systems for monitoring political appointees, and their compliance with government ethics and financial disclosure rules, at the Interior and Health and Human Services departments and Small Business Administration. It said all could use some improvement.

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During his State of the Union address this year, President Trump said he would stonewall the legislative process if members of Congress don't play ball, writes Neal.

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Neal is federal government affairs manager at R Street Institute, a nonpartisan and pro-free-market public policy research organization.

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