PracticeAuditCongress accounting watchdog sues Cheney

Congress accounting watchdog sues Cheney

The Government Accounting Office of the US Congress is suing vice president Dick Cheney for his refusal to release details of meetings held by the country's chief energy body.

In an unprecedented move, the GAO has gone to court in an attempt to force the National Energy Policy Development Group, tasked with formulating a new national energy policy, to release details of meetings, some of which involved representatives of collapsed energy giant Enron.

The Bush administration argues that Congress has no right to study such documents as the vice president’s office goes beyond the GAO’s mandate to oversee government agencies.

However those within Congress believe the body is trying to hide information relating to the influence of energy industry officials over Enron.

According to the Wall Street Journal the GAO is seeking to know ‘how the task force conducted its work, who it met with, the subjects discussed, who selected the outside experts that had a chance to meet with the task-force or its members, and how much it cost to draft the subsequent [energy] policy the White House announced in May’.

No dates for a possible trial have yet been set, although it has been speculated that some sort of settlement may yet be reached.

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