Government Accountability Office (GAO)

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Definition of 'Government Accountability Office (GAO)'

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. GAO provides objective, impartial, and credible information to help Congress make informed decisions about public policy. GAO's work is based on facts and data, and GAO's reports are widely respected by Congress, the media, and the public.

GAO was created in 1921 as the General Accounting Office. GAO's name was changed to the Government Accountability Office in 2004. GAO is headed by the Comptroller General of the United States, who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

GAO has a staff of over 3,000 employees. GAO's work is organized into four main areas: financial audits, performance audits, investigations, and legal services. GAO also has a number of specialized offices, such as the Office of Congressional Relations, the Office of Public Affairs, and the Office of the General Counsel.

GAO's work is funded by congressional appropriations. GAO's budget for fiscal year 2023 is $656 million.

GAO's work is important because it helps Congress make informed decisions about public policy. GAO's audits, reviews, and investigations provide Congress with information about the effectiveness of government programs, the efficiency of government operations, and the integrity of government financial management. GAO's work also helps Congress identify areas where government can improve its performance and make better use of taxpayer dollars.

GAO is a valuable resource for Congress and the American people. GAO's work helps to ensure that the government is accountable to the people it serves.

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