Searching for a new Comptroller General

According to the “Head Count” in today’s Washington Post, President Obama has filled 293 (56.9 percent) of his 515 Senate-confirmed positions.  Curiously, one position the Washington Post does not track is the Comptroller General of the United States.

The Comptroller General heads the Congress’  “watch dog” agency – the Government Accountability Office (GAO).   The Comptroller General is appointed for one non-renewable 15-year term.  Upon his resignation on March 12, 2008,  former Comptroller General David Walker appointed Gene L. Dodaro to serve as Acting Comptroller General.

A statutorily bipartisan Congressional Comptroller General Commission has been considering candidates.  Once the Commission wraps up its work, it will send President Obama a non-binding list of at least three potential nominees, and the President may request that the commission recommend additional individuals. The President then selects an individual from those recommended to nominate as the new Comptroller General. The President’s nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.  This same process led to presidential nomination of David Walker, who was nominated by President Bill Clinton, and former Comptroller General Charles Bowsher, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan.

Roll Call’s Emily Yehle has been tracking the appointment process. See Search for GAO Chief Stuck in Neutral (September 14, 2009).   For more details, check out a pair of articles that Steve Katz and I published in Roll Call magazine) “GAO Requires a Multitalented New Leader “(July 6, 2009) and “Comptroller General’s Job Is a Balancing Act,” along with “Q&A with Former Comptroller General Charles Bowsher and David Walker” (part 1 and part 2) (July 7, 2009)

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