Guilt by Innuendo: The GAO’s Political Attack on Agency Training Programs, 1940

Mordecai Lee


In 1940, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) released to Congress a slashing attack on in-house training programs in executive branch departments and agencies. The GAO had always used a strict constructionist approach to evaluate the legality of agency spending on training: Was it explicitly authorized by Congress? However, this report was much more of a broad-ranging political and ideological attack on training programs, including accusations of Communist influence and–contradictorily–influence by the Rockefellers. The report can be seen as one of the major attempts by the Congressional conservative coalition to stem the tide of modern personnel administration in the federal executive branch.


Public Administration History; Agency Training Programs; General Accounting Office (GAO)

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.