From Russia's inspectors general to the USA Government Accounting Office, watchdogs have long been appointed to help keep governments honest. Many countries are now emphasizing efficiency as well. Since 1977 Canada has required that federal agencies and departments undertake periodic appraisals of their own efficiency in administering programmes and their effectiveness in meeting objectives. In 1978, Malaysia added a unit charged with improving management systems and civil service operations to the already strong project monitoring team in its prime minister's office.
Value-for-money audits have been instituted in the UK. A 1982 government report noted that, over a period of three years, the audits had saved $850 million in wages, boosted tax collections by more than $40 million, and reduced social security operating costs by 6 percent. The audits involve rigorous three- to six-month scrutinies carried out by examining officers drawn from the management of the office being investigated.