Press Release

Independent Outside Audit Team Gives GAO Top Marks on its Quality Assurance System

WASHINGTON, DC (September 25, 2017) – A new report by an outside group of independent experts has given the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) a “clean opinion”—the highest possible rating—on its quality assurance system. The report from an international peer review team cited a number of exemplary practices at GAO that contribute to its effectiveness in improving government operations, including the High Risk List and rating system for assessing government programs, a strong institutional culture that supports quality, and effective communication through social media.

“GAO has consistently received clean opinions from its peer reviews, and this latest report confirms GAO’s reputation for excellence in auditing. Congress and the American people can have full confidence in the independence and quality of GAO reports,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and the head of the GAO. “On behalf of my colleagues at GAO, I want to thank the international peer review team for their hard work and their vote of confidence.”

Every three years, GAO undergoes an independent peer review conducted by a multinational team of auditors. This involves a top-to-bottom review of the quality control system GAO uses to produce audit reports.

Led by the Office of the Auditor General of Denmark, with support from the national audit offices of Finland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, the 2017 peer review covered GAO’s performance and financial audit work and examined every aspect of GAO’s quality assurance framework—from the initial acceptance of new work to the issuance of a final product.  The peer review included interviews with GAO staff, reviews of a sample of GAO audit products and various policies and procedures, and an in-depth case study of a completed audit.

The peer review team commented on the very high quality of the GAO work they examined, noting various institutional strengths that enable GAO to provide Congress and the public with reliable and objective information. They also made suggestions for GAO’s consideration to enhance operations, including developing a strategy to maximize the potential of its new internal engagement management system.

The report from the international peer review is posted on GAO’s website. For more information, contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs, at 202-512-4800.

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The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.