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Covers Hein Collections: GAO Reports, American Indian Law Collection and Law Journal Library.


About GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions

HeinOnline’s GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions database contains reports on audits, surveys, investigations, and evaluations of federal programs conducted by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). All published reports, testimonies, correspondence, and special publications are included (documents that are restricted or classified are not). GAO Comptroller General Decisions contain decisions and opinions issued by the Comptroller General in areas of federal law such as appropriations, bid protests, and federal agency rulemaking.

The Government Publishing Office (GPO) has a partnership agreement with the GAO to provide permanent public access to these documents on the GAO website, but HeinOnline’s metadata indexing, plus its fully searchable, user-friendly interface, make it simple to browse and search this content.

About the GAO

Headed by the Comptroller General of the U.S., the GAO is a legislative branch agency which provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for the United States Congress. Formerly known as the Government Accounting Office, the GAO was established by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. This Act required the GAO to “investigate, at the seat of government or elsewhere, all matters related to the receipt, disbursement, and application of public funds, and shall make to the President and to Congress reports and recommendations looking to greater economy of efficiency in public expenditures.”

The GAO produces:

  • Reports and written correspondence
  • Testimonies and statements for the record 
  • Briefings for congressional staff members
  • Legal decisions and opinions resolving bid protests and addressing issues of appropriations law

The GAO also possesses certain powers, including:

  • Auditing agency operations to determine if federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively
  • Investigating allegations of illegal and improper activities
  • Reporting on the effectiveness of government programs and policies
  • Performing policy analyses
  • Outlining options for congressional consideration
  • Issuing legal decisions and opinions advising Congress and executive agencies on government effectiveness and efficiency
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