The United States Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that serves as the “investigative arm of Congress.” It does so by evaluating how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars and reporting on how well government programs are meeting their objectives. The GAO issues reports, often at the request of members of Congress, about various federal government programs, which offer recommendations to the agencies. These reports cover a wide range of topics and can be very helpful for researchers needing information about particular agencies and programs. For example, GAO reports were recently released about the assistance provided by the federal government to nonprofits following hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the FDA’s consideration of evidence from certain clinical trials.
GAO Reports can be found on the GAO website either through browsing by date, topic, or agency, or by using the advanced search feature. This website is updated daily and the full-text of the reports is provided going back to the 1950s. GAO Reports from 1993-2008 can also be found on the Government Printing Office’s FDsys website.