The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO examines how taxpayer dollars are spent and provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information to help the government save money and work more efficiently.

For example, we identified $214.7 billion in financial benefits in fiscal year 2019—a return of about $338 for every $1 invested in us. We also identified 1,418 other benefits that led to program and operational improvements across the government. Read the press release about these record numbers.

Our Mission

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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Our Authority

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.