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Resources: For Congress

These GAO resources have been selected specifically for Congress members and staff.

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GAO provides Congress, the heads of executive agencies, and the public with timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can be used to improve government and save taxpayers billions of dollars. In fiscal year 2016, GAO reaped  $63.4 billion in financial benefits and helped make the government more efficient in 1,234 other ways. GAO’s annual performance and accountability report provides more details.

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GAO’s work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is statutorily required by public laws or committee reports, per our Congressional Protocols. GAO also undertakes research under the authority of the Comptroller General. Learn more about the process and timing of GAO reports in our quick guide to requests.

 

 

What We Offer: How We Support The Congress

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Watchdog: Your Exclusive Look at GAO

Visit our Watchdog website for more information about GAO's services specifically for Congress (accessible through the congressional computer network). There you will find information on general assistance and briefings by GAO experts, ongoing work, and requesting work.

 

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Most GAO reports and testimonies are publicly available, unless they contain classified information. GAO experts also regularly testify at Congressional hearings. Reports and testimonies cover:

  • Audits of agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively;
  • How well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives;
  • Policy analyses and options for congressional consideration.

Legal Decisions

GAO's office of General Counsel issues legal decisions and opinions on bid protests, appropriations law, and other issues of federal law.

Comptroller General Initiatives

The Comptroller General's forums, roundtables, and testimonies address high-level federal issues and the role of government in addressing 21st century challenges.

Requesting GAO Services: Who Can Request Work

Requests for GAO services must come from congressional committees, subcommittees , or members of Congress. In conjunction with members of Congress, GAO developed its Congressional Protocols which outlines policies and procedures for accepting and completing work. 

Request Letters: How to Request Work

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Requests must be made in writing and should be submitted via email to the Congressional Relations Office. A request letter should include a brief background description of the issue and a list of questions to be addressed; the requesting Member’s signature, title, and committee affiliation; and a staff point of contact.

Letters should be signed, on the appropriate Committee/Member letterhead, and addressed to:

Gene L. Dodaro
Comptroller General of the United States
U.S. Government Accountability Office
441 G Street, NW, - Room 7100
Washington, DC 20548

For assistance drafting a request letter, contact the Office of Congressional Relations at (202) 512-4400 or visit Watchdog, our website for members of Congress and their staff.

Requests to GAO: Process and Timing

List entitled Requests to GAO:  Process and Timing, that includes six steps:

Once GAO accepts a congressional request, we initiate the audit. Next, a GAO team designs the audit method for the report. The team can provide preliminary briefings on our findings to congressional requesters. Before issuing the report, we also solicit comments from the audited agency or agencies.

Learn more about the process and timing of GAO reports in our quick guide to requests.

 

Watchdog: Your Exclusive Look at GAO

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Members of Congress and their staff have access to information regarding GAO’s ongoing work. Please see our Watchdog (accessible through the congressional computer network).

 

Watchdog:Your Exclusive Look at GAO

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Visit our Watchdog website for more information about GAO's services specifically for Congress (accessible through the congressional computer network). There you will find information on general assistance and briefings by GAO experts, ongoing work, and requesting work.

 
 

Reference Materials: GAO's Standard-Setting Guides and Treatises

 

Collections: GAO's Special Bodies of Cross-Cutting Work

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  • By phone: (202) 512-4400 (Congressional Relations Office, Direct)
  • By email: congrel@gao.gov
  • Contact your advisor: Information accessible on our Watchdog Website for members of Congress and their staff
  • By mail: Government Accountability Office, 441 G St., NW, Washington, DC 20548

Have questions about open recommendations?

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  • For general information about recommendations, contact GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office at (202) 512-6100 or apqa@gao.gov.
  • Search GAO's open recommendations.

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