U.S. comptroller visits NIU

By Deanna Cabinian

U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, head of the Government Accountability Office, will speak to students at 5 p.m. today in the Barsema Hall auditorium.

The GAO is an investigative arm of the U.S. Congress and responsible for overseeing federal spending.

The office “follows the federal dollar wherever it goes in the world,” said Don Tidrick, an associate professor in the accountancy department.

Walker’s presentation is not open to the university and is meant primarily for accounting students, Tidrick said.

Brad Burzynski, 35th District Illinois State Senator, and Robert Pritchard, 70th District State Representative, will also be in attendance, Tidrick said.

The GAO is involved in homeland security, the war on terrorism, and serves as auditors of financial statements of the U.S. government, Tidrick said. The office was founded in 1921 and recently changed its name from the General Accounting Office.

The office studies how the federal government spends taxpayer’s money. The GAO also advises agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense on how to make the government more receptive.

The mission of the office is to improve the performance and assure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.

NIU is a prominent recruiting school for the GAO, Tidrick said.