Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

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Freedom of Information Act

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 USC 552). However, GAO's disclosure policy follows the spirit of the act consistent with GAO's duties and functions as an agency with primary responsibility to the Congress.

See 4 CFR 81 on public availability of GAO records.

How to Request Records

Requests from the public for access to GAO records go through GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office. 

Make your request in writing, and send by mail, fax, or email to:

U.S. Government Accountability Office
Chief Quality Officer
Room 5K21
441 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20548

Fax: 202-512-5806

We may charge fees. See 4 CFR 81.7.

Questions? Contact Patricia Stokes at 202-512-9951 or

Expedited Processing and Appeal Rights

We consider expedited processing requests from

  • requesters who show that delays pose an imminent threat to a person’s life or physical safety, or
  • journalists who show an urgent need to inform the public about actual or alleged federal government activity.

See 4 CFR 81.4(b) and 4 CFR 81.3(f).

If your request to release records is denied, you may appeal that decision by sending a letter to the U.S. Comptroller General explaining why you believe the denial was unwarranted. You must submit your appeal within 60 days of denial. See 4 CFR 81.4(d).

GAO does not release records that

  • originate outside of GAO (those requests are referred to the original source);
  • are part of an ongoing review or other current projects; or
  • relate to work performed in response to a congressional request, unless the congressional requester authorizes the release.