GAO Mission and Operations:
GAO Policy Manual--January 1, 2004 Version
Jan 1, 2004
GAO exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. The GAO policies set forth in this manual are rooted in generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS). Developed for use by GAO professionals, GAO policies build on the GAGAS framework by describing in detail the steps GAO staff need to take to meet professional standards and ensure that their work is consistent with GAO's core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability. In the unusual circumstances, when a GAO audit team determines that they will not follow one or more GAGAS standards, the team needs to document (1) the reasons why the standard was not followed, (2) the known or potential effect on the audit of not following the standard(s) and (3) the approval of the team Managing Director for low risk engagements or the Chief Quality Officer approval for medium or high risk engagements.