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Government Accountability Office

441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20548



Chief Operating Officer Patricia A. Dalton

Chief Quality Officer Timothy P. Bowling
Managing Director, Continuous Process Improvement Thomas Williams
Acquisition and Sourcing Management Michele Mackin
Applied Research and Methods Nancy Kingsbury
Defense Capabilities and Management Cathleen A. Berrick
Education, Workforce, and Income Security Barbara D. Bovbjerg
Financial Management and Assurance Gary T. Engel
Financial Markets and Community Investment Orice Williams Brown
Forensic Audits and Investigative Service Johana R. Ayers
Health Care Nikki Clowers
Homeland Security and Justice George A. Scott
Information Technology Valerie Melvin
International Affairs and Trade Charles M. Johnson, Jr.
Natural Resources and Environment Mark E. Gaffigan
Physical Infrastructure Daniel Bertoni
Strategic Issues J. Christopher Mihm
Chief Administrative Officer / Chief Financial Officer Karl J. Maschino
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Paul R. Johnson

Chief Human Capital Officer William White
Chief Information Officer Howard Williams, Jr.
Deputy Chief Financial Officer / Controller William L. Anderson
Field Operations Linda M. Calbom
Infrastructure Operations Terrell G. Dorn
Professional Development Program Teresa Rivera Russell
Congressional Relations Katherine A. Siggerud
Opportunity and Inclusiveness Reginald E. Jones
Public Affairs Charles Young
Strategic Planning and External Liaison James-Christian Blockwood
General Counsel Susan A. Poling
Deputy General Counsel / Ethics Counselor Thomas H. Armstrong
Inspector General Adam Trzeciak

The key personnel tables above were updated 10–2017.

The key personnel tables above were updated 10–2017.

The Government Accountability Office helps the Congress fulfill its constitutional responsibilities and heightens the Federal Government's accountability and performance.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the Congress. The GAO is often called the "congressional watchdog" because it investigates how the Federal Government spends taxpayer dollars. The GAO was established as the General Accounting Office by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 (31 U.S.C. 702). It was renamed the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the GAO Capital Reform Act of 2004 (31 U.S.C. 702 note).


The GAO gathers information that the Congress uses to determine how effective executive branch agencies are at carrying out their missions. Its efforts routinely center on answering basic questions: Are Government programs meeting their objectives? Are they providing services of value to the public? Ultimately, the GAO ensures that the Government is accountable to the American people.

To help Senators and Representatives make informed policy decisions, the GAO provides them with accurate, balanced, and timely information. The Office supports congressional oversight by evaluating Government policies and programs; auditing agency operations to ensure effective, efficient, and appropriate spending of Federal funds; investigating allegations of illegal and improper activities; and issuing legal decisions and opinions.

With virtually the entire Federal Government subject to its review, the GAO issues a steady stream of products, including hundreds of reports and testimonies by GAO officials each year. Its reports or "blue books" meet short-term, immediate needs for information on a wide range of Government operations. These reports help Members of Congress understand emerging, long-term issues with far-reaching effects. The GAO's work supports a wide variety of improvements in Government operations and legislative actions that save the American people billions of dollars.

Sources of Information

At a Glance

The "GAO at a Glance" Web page offers a profile of the agency, including information on the scope and nature of its activities.

Bid Protests

Bidders or other interested parties may protest Federal Government procurement contracts. The GAO provides an inexpensive and expeditious forum for the resolution of these protests. Two search tools are available on the "Bid Protests" Web page. One allows users to search and access all published bid protest decisions; the other allows users to search the bid protest docket to find status information on cases filed within the past 12 months. | Email:


The GAO's Web site features "WatchBlog: Following the Federal Dollar." To receive electronic notifications of new posts, sign up by entering an email address in the appropriate text box on the "WatchBlog" Web page.

Career Opportunities

The GAO relies on attorneys, communications analysts, criminal investigators, economists, financial auditors, information technology analysts, and other professionals to carry out its mission.

The GAO offers an intern program for students. Appointments for intern positions are 10–16 weeks in length and normally held during summer months. A student must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, as determined by his or her college or university. A GAO student intern receives an appointment on a nonpermanent basis; however, after completing 400 hours of service and meeting degree requirements, he or she may be eligible for a permanent position. Internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students.

The GAO was named again as an outstanding place to work in the Federal Government. Among midsize agencies, it shared the second highest ranking with the Peace Corps in the Partnership for Public Service's 2016 list of the Best Places To Work.


FraudNet helps people report suspicion of abuse, fraud, waste, or mismanagement of Federal funds to the appropriate authorities. It refers allegations to Federal, State, and local law enforcement, and to Offices of Inspector General, when appropriate; it supports congressional investigation and audit requests; it provides audit and investigative leads to GAO staff; and it offers support to government at all levels for establishing and operating hotlines. Phone, 800-424-5454. Fax, 202-512-3086. | Email:

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The GAO is not subject to the FOIA; however, its disclosure policy adheres to the spirit of the act while remaining consistent with its duties and functions as an agency whose primary responsibility is to the Congress. Fax, 202-512-5806. | Email:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The GAO posts answers to general questions about its legal decisions.

Good Governance

The Center for Audit Excellence promotes good governance and builds the capacity of domestic and international accountability organizations. It provides high-quality training, technical assistance, and related products and services.


When World War I came to a close, the Federal Government's financial affairs lacked proper management. Wartime spending had inflated the national debt, and Congress needed reliable information and enhanced expenditure control. Its solution for the problem came in 1921 with passage of the Budget and Accounting Act. To learn more about how that piece of legislation helped Congress manage the Nation's fiscal affairs and the role that a new agency played—and would continue to play—in Federal financial management, visit the "The History of GAO" Web pages.

Key Issues

The "Key Issues" Web pages contain information on GAO's work on a range of national issues, and they highlight the agency's most relevant reports.

Organizational Chart

The GAO's organizational chart is available on its Web site.

Podcast Gallery

Recorded, hosted, and produced by GAO staff, the "Watchdog Report" features interviews with agency officials on significant issues and new reports.


The best known GAO products—correspondence, legal decisions and opinions, reports, and testimonies—are available to the press and the public.


Most GAO products and publications are available online, free of charge. Charges for printed copies cover the printing, shipping, and handling costs. Phone, 202-512-6000 or 866-801-7077. TDD, 202-512-2537.

The GAO's Web site allows visitors to browse reports and testimonies by date and topic and by agency alphabetically or hierarchically.

The "Principles of Federal Appropriations Law," also known as the "Red Book," is a multivolume treatise on Federal fiscal law. It provides text discussions with references to specific legal authorities to illustrate legal principles, their applications, and exceptions. These references include GAO decisions and judicial decisions, opinions, statutory provisions, and other relevant sources.

Recommendations Database

The recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed. GAO's recommendations help congressional and agency leaders prepare for appropriations and oversight activities, as well as improve Government operations. Recommendations remain open until designated as "closed-implemented" or "closed-not implemented." The public can explore open recommendations online by browsing or searching.


The GAO Web site features resources that auditors and others promoting accountability may find useful.

The GAO Web site features resources that Members of Congress and and their staff may find useful.

The GAO Web site features resources that Federal agency managers may find useful.

The GAO Web site features resources that journalists may find useful.

The GAO Web site features resources—search tips for locating GAO products on its website, information on using the data and images contained in them, suggestions for additional informational sources—that researchers may find useful.

Social Media

The GAO has a Facebook account.

The GAO tweets announcements, news, and other noteworthy items on Twitter.

The GAO posts videos on its YouTube channel.

The GAO posts informational graphics and photographs on Flickr.

Site Map

The Web site map allows visitors to look for specific topics or to browse content that aligns with their interests.

Telephone Directory

The "Organizational Telephone Directory" (April 2017), a document that is updated often, contains contact information for agency personnel and is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF).


A subscription form is available on the GAO's Web site to sign up for email updates on the latest reports. Daily or monthly electronic updates are options, too, as well as notifications about correspondence, reports, and testimony that fall within a specific topic area.

Video Gallery

The GAO Web site features a video collection that is diverse and extensive, educational and informative.


Snippets of HTML code for embedding small news widgets that refresh automatically are available on the GAO Web site. Pasting the code into the desired location on a Web site makes the most recent reports and testimonies and legal decisions from GAO locally accessible. | Email:

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