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Obama taps GAO's temporary boss to serve permanently

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 7:05 p.m. ET
President Obama moved Wednesday to give one of the government's acting watchdogs permanent status, naming Gene L. Dodaro to lead the Government Accountability Office.

Dodaro, a more than 30-year veteran of the Congressional watchdog agency, has served as acting comptroller general since March 2008. He previously served as GAO's number two official and helped develop the agency's efforts to highlight a "high risk" list of issues that warrant greater attention from Congress and the White House.

GAO publishes several audits or reports each day, usually while Congress is in session. In recent years it has provided oversight of the economic stimulus efforts, the Troubled Asset Relief Program and a host of federal policies and programs.

Dodaro's nomination will be considered by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, whose chairman, Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), signaled support.

"[Dodaro's] nearly four decades of experience at GAO more than qualifies him for this key position," said Lieberman spokeswoman Leslie Phillips. "His agency has performed top- notch work for Congress, and our Committee relies heavily on GAO's valuable resources."

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 22, 2010; 4:58 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, Oversight, Revolving Door  
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Disappointing choice. Dodaro is unpopular with rank and file at GAO and won't change a thing. Why not Harvard Professor Bilmes who is so inspiring?

Posted by: bogemin | September 22, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Linda Bilmes would have been an exciting choice. She was my accounting professor and she is amazing - brilliant but kind and caring about the world. I can't believe Obama missed the chance to appoint this woman. (But maybe she withdrew because she didn't want to go through a difficult confirmation process?) I have nothing specific against Mr. Dodaro but he has been at GAO for 37 years ... I have been here for 3 years and I already see its time for a change.

Posted by: soccerman1 | September 22, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Great news! Gene is respected and well-liked at GAO.

Posted by: justalark | September 22, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

David Walker left 2 years ago so its about time Obama appointed someone. Dodaro will be easy to confirm so Obama won't need to have a fight about it. However, Linda Bilmes is kind of a folk hero for her book "The People Factor" which is pretty much the only book anywhere that praises and appreciates federal workers. I surely hope Mr. Dodaro will offer her the deputy GAO job??.

Posted by: owenmh | September 22, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

MEDIOCRITY WINS AGAIN!! Isn't it amazing that after more than TWO YEARS, the entire US Congress and the US President discovered that after looking at all the qualified people across America, that the very best person to run the premier government watchdog was .... RIGHT HERE AT GAO ALL ALONG!! Wow, What a coincidence!!

Posted by: TeaPartyNot | September 22, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I also am sorry that Dr. Bilmes was not selected. She is legendary for her work with the local communities around Boston. Like she is a "real person", not a DC Beltway person. By the way, I am also an Iraq veteran.

Posted by: lilaylynn | September 23, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

While I am not familiar with Dr. Bilmes, I have known Mr. Dodaro for over 30 years and believe he will do an excellent job. His knowledge of GAO, its mission and work will be of enormous value to the Congress. Moreover, he is well respected within GAO. Removing the "Acting" from his title will enable him to make the changes needed to move the GAO forward.

Posted by: jchansen14 | September 23, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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