The General Accounting Office (GAO) has been Congress’ long‐serving auditor, issuing reports designed to improve the operations of government agencies and to enhance their cost effectiveness. In order to do this effectively, it must have unrestricted access to records. The GAO, in response to a request from two congressmen, sought access to records and names of attendees at an energy planning group meeting held in 2001. Access was denied by Vice President Cheney. The GAO then brought a suit to secure access. The suit was dismissed by District Circuit Judge Bates and the Comptroller General decided not to appeal. At this time the GAO's continuation as a super audit agency appeared highly uncertain, resulting in an emasculation of Congress’s powers.
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