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Government Accountability Office

441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20548



STAFF OFFICES—Managing Directors
Congressional RelationsOrice Williams Brown
Opportunity and InclusivenessEdda Emmanuelli-Perez
Public AffairsCharles Young
Strategic Planning and External LiaisonJames-Christian Blockwood

Chief Quality OfficerTimothy P. Bowling
Managing Director of the Continuous Process Improvement OfficePatricia McClure

MISSION TEAMS—Managing Directors
Applied Research and MethodsNancy Kingsbury
Contracting and National Security AcquisitionsMichele Mackin
Defense Capabilities and ManagementCathleen A. Berrick
Education, Workforce, and Income SecurityBarbara D. Bovbjerg
Financial Management and AssuranceJ. Lawrence Malenich
Financial Markets and Community InvestmentLawrance Evans, Jr.
Forensic Audits and Investigative ServiceJohana R. Ayers
Health CareA. Nicole Clowers
Homeland Security and JusticeCharles M. Johnson, Jr.
Information Technology and CybersecurityValerie Melvin
International Affairs and TradeThomas Melito
Natural Resources and EnvironmentMark E. Gaffigan
Physical InfrastructureDaniel Bertoni
Strategic IssuesJ. Christopher Mihm

Deputy Chief Administrative OfficerPaul R. Johnson
GENERAL COUNSELThomas H. Armstrong

Deputy General Counsel / Ethics Counselor(vacancy)
Inspector GeneralAdam Trzeciak

The key personnel table was updated 2–2019.

The key personnel table was updated 2–2019.

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 agency is known as the "congressional watchdog" because it investigates how the Federal Government spends taxpayer dollars. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 (31 U.S.C. 702) established the General Accounting Office. Eighty three years later, 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, which are often called "blue books," meet short-term, immediate needs for information on a wide range of Government operations. These reports help Members of Congress better understand emerging, long-term issues whose effects are far-reaching. The GAO saves billions of American tax dollars by supporting improvements in Government operations and thoughtfulness in legislative actions.

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 website 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.

According to the Partnership for Public Service, the GAO is an outstanding place to work in the Federal Government. Among 27 midsize agencies, it placed fourth in the 2018 Best Places To Work rankings.

Find an Expert

The "Find an Expert" web page is useful for identifying a subject matter expert as a potential speaker for an organizational event. The list of experts includes names, as well as areas of expertise, email addresses, and telephone numbers.


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, it discloses information in accordance with the spirit of the Act, while remaining true to 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.


After the signing of the armistice agreement of November 11, 1918, the hostilities of the First World War ended. Although the United States had entered the war late as a combatant, it transported millions of troops and their equipment to the Western Front to support the Allies. Wartime spending inflated the national debt, and Congress needed reliable information and enhanced expenditure control. In 1921, to improve managing the Nation's affairs, Congress passed the Budget and Accounting Act. To learn more about this piece of legislation and the role that a new agency was playing in Federal financial management, visit "The History of GAO" web pages.

Key Issues

The "Key Issues" web pages allow visitors to explore the GAO's work on a range of national issues by agency or topic. The agency's most relevant reports are highlighted on these web pages.

Organizational Chart

The GAO's organizational chart is available on its website.

Podcast Gallery

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

Press Releases

The GAO posts press releases online.


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 website 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 general public may browse or search open recommendations online.

Reports / Testimonies

The GAO posts an alphabetical listing of significant reports and testimonies each month.


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

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

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

The GAO website features resources that journalists may find useful.

The GAO website 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.

Site Map

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

Social Media

The GAO uses social media tools—Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube—to make its work more accessible to both Congress and the general public.

Telephone Directory

The "Organizational Telephone Directory" (January 2019), a resource that the agency updates often, contains GAO personnel contact information. It is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF).


A subscription form is available on the GAO's website 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 website 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 website. Pasting the code into the desired location on a website makes the most recent reports and testimonies and legal decisions from GAO locally accessible. | Email:

For further information, contact the Office of Public Affairs, Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20548. Phone, 202-512-4800.