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for people who care about the West

What is the Government Accountability Office?


The Government Accountability Office — known as the “congressional watchdog” — is a nonpartisan group responsible for investigating the use of taxpayers’ dollars. GAO investigations can be requested by congressional committees or authorized by public laws or committee reports. The group audits the efficiency of agencies’ spending, provides reports on the success of government programs, and investigates potentially illegal activities. Recent GAO reports relevant to the West have assessed the Park Service’s budget and the impact of lawsuits on Environmental Protection Agency rules. All GAO reports are available online. With a staff of around 3,000, the GAO had a 2016 budget of $555 million.