What GAO Is
The Government Accountability Office is the U.S. government’s audit institution and is part of the legislative branch.
A brief history of GAO, including information on our former name and previous Comptrollers General.
Our budget, strategic and performance planning, performance and accountability reports, and peer review results.
We support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities, and help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government. We provide Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, and balanced.
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The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 formed GAO to investigate all matters related to the use of public funds. The act also requires us to report on our findings and recommend ways to increase economy and efficiency in government spending.
Our Core Values
Accountability, integrity, and reliability: our mission core values allow us to demonstrate that our work is independent, objective, and accurate. We operate under strict professional standards of review and referencing; all facts and analyses in our work are thoroughly checked for accuracy. In addition, our audit policies are consistent with the Fundamental Auditing Principles (Level 3) of the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions. Furthermore, valuing, respecting, and treating staff fairly—our people core values—are equally essential to achieving our mission. When people are valued, respected, and treated fairly, it creates a trusting, inclusive workplace, increases engagement, and broadens perspectives. This results in a highly productive workforce, and makes GAO one of the one of the best places to work in government
. Read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion