Meet David M. Walker – Comptroller General of the United States

Civil Action No. 02-0340 (JDB)
Comptroller General of the United States,



Vice President of the United States and
Chair, National Energy Policy
Development Group,


This case raises compelling statutory and constitutional questions concerning the authority of the Comptroller General, and hence Congress, to require the Vice President to produce information relating to the President’s decision-making on national energy policy. Each side casts its position in core constitutional terms invoking competing theories of the proper balance of power between the Legislative and Executive Branches, and insists that its opponent seeks to “work a revolution” in separation of powers principles. The case thus engenders a struggle between the political branches that is historically unprecedented and that transcends both
the specific information sought and the political identity of the Legislative and Executive Branch players involved. Ultimately, however, equally fundamental separation of powers concerns relating to the restricted role of the Article III courts in our constitutional system of government ordain the outcome here. The parties agree that no court has ever before granted what the Comptroller
General seeks – an order that the President (or Vice President) must produce information to Congress (or the Comptroller General). Because the Comptroller General does not have the personal, concrete, and particularized injury required under Article III standing doctrine, either himself or as the agent of Congress, his complaint must be dismissed.

David M. Walker became the seventh Comptroller General of the United States and began his 15-year term when he took his oath of office on November 9, 1998. As Comptroller General, Mr. Walker is the nation’s chief accountability officer and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a legislative branch agency founded in 1921. …

Before his appointment as Comptroller General, Mr. Walker had extensive executive level experience in both government and private industry. Between 1989 and 1998, Mr. Walker worked at Arthur Andersen LLP, where he was a partner and global managing director of the human capital services practice based in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also a member of the board of Arthur Andersen Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.

While a partner at Arthur Andersen, Mr. Walker served as a Public Trustee for Social Security and Medicare from 1990 to 1995. Before joining Arthur Andersen, Mr. Walker was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs from 1987 to 1989 and in 1985, was Acting Executive Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. His earlier technical, professional, and business experience was with Price Waterhouse, Coopers & Lybrand and Source Services Corporation, an international human resources consulting and search firm.

Mr. Walker currently serves as Chair of the U.S. Intergovernmental Audit Forum, the Center for Continuous Auditing, and as a principal of the U.S. Joint Financial Management Improvement Program. He is also a founder and principal of the U.S. Joint Auditing Standards Coordinating Forum.

Mr. Walker is on the Board of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions and various educational and not-for-profit entities. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, the National Academy of Social Insurance and an active member of various professional, public service, and other organizations, including the Sons of the American Revolution. He is listed in Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in America.

Mr. Walker is the author of Retirement Security: Understanding and Planning Your Financial Future (John Wiley & Sons, 1996) and a co-author of Delivering on the Promise: How to Attract, Manage and Retain Human Capital (Free Press, 1998). He has also written numerous articles and opinion letters on a variety of subjects. Mr. Walker is frequently quoted on a range of government and management issues and has been the subject of several cover stories in various national, professional and governmental journals.

Mr. Walker is a certified public accountant. He has a B.S. degree in accounting from Jacksonville University and a Senior Management in Government Certificate in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from several colleges and universities, including his alma mater. Mr. Walker has also won a number of awards domestically and internationally for outstanding leadership.

He is married to the former Mary Etheredge, and they have two adult children – a daughter, Carol, and a son, Andy – and three grandchildren.