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GAO Strategic Plan 2018-2023: Trends Affecting Government and Society

 

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Abstract

For nearly 100 years, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has stood at the vanguard of the U.S. government’s efforts to ensure government accountability and effectiveness. To help support these efforts, GAO publishes a strategic plan every 4 years that emphasizes consideration of future issues that may affect the federal government and society as a whole. As part of our strategic planning process, we emphasize foresight, continuous environmental scanning, and trend analysis as core activities. It is essential that we understand evolving trends and evaluate emerging issues to inform our decision making in the present. By exploring trends, key uncertainties, and their implications, we can better highlight national issues of greatest concern to the Congress and the American people in the years and decades ahead. Taking a longer view also helps us define the strategic context of our work and better address crosscutting and interconnected challenges that will require sustained collaboration and innovation. GAO has long engaged in strategic foresight, both in conducting our engagements and managing our operations. Forward-looking GAO work includes fiscal sustainability models showing the future of U.S. debt and deficits, technology assessments on key areas of technological innovation, and Comptroller General Forums that bring leading experts together to explore emerging issues of national importance. What follows are eight trends we believe are having strong effects on both the federal government and society as a whole. In developing these trends, we researched extensively and consulted with a wide variety of experts both inside and outside the federal government. After reviewing the current state of affairs and our key assumptions, we explored uncertainties and the implications of these various trends over the near term (5 years) and long term (15 years). These trend papers do not seek to predict the future; rather, they explore the broader context in which we perform our mission not only to ensure the Congress is aware and well informed as it meets its constitutional responsibilities, but also to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. We are publishing these trend papers as part of GAO’s strategic plan for fiscal years 2018-2023 to provide strategic context for our plan. We expect in the years that follow to update our trends, as appropriate, to reflect changes in external factors and new emerging issues. This continuous scanning of trends will help ensure GAO remains an agile and responsive organization.

Document Date: 
Feb 22, 2018
 
Author (organization): 
Government Accountability Office (GAO)
 
Document type: 
Publication
 
Interests: 
Technology Management
Workforce Management