|Page last updated April 9, 2001|
Created in 1921 as a result of the Budget and Accounting Act, GAO is headquartered in downtown Washington, D.C., at 441 G Street, Northwest, in a building placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a symbol of what in 1951 represented a new age in federal office design. It is across the street from the Pension Building (now the National Building Museum), which served as GAO's home prior to the construction of the GAO building in the late 1940s.
Over 70 percent of GAO's approximately 3,200 employees are located at the headquarters building, with the remaining staff located in field offices throughout the United States.
During fiscal year 2000, GAO began to realign its structure to better support the Congress and to prepare the agency to meet the future challenges outlined in GAO's strategic plan (view organization chart). At headquarters, staff formerly arrayed mainly in 5 divisions and 31 issue areas were restructured into 13 teams focused on research, audit, and evaluation work:
Smaller specialized units support the teams and the agency as a whole. The Office of General Counsel, for instance, provides legal services to the Comptroller General and GAO's teams. Mission offices, including Quality and Risk Management, Product and Process Improvement, Congressional Relations, Public Affairs, and mission support offices, such as human capital and the controller, support the agency in achieving its goals and objectives.
In the field, the realignment better aligned resources with the strategic plan, concentrated field resources in fewer locations with greater critical mass, and clarified the roles and responsibilities of field management, among other things. Five of our 16 field offices--Kansas City, Portland, Raleigh, Sacramento, and St. Louis--closed in November 2000, affecting about 4 percent of GAO's workforce. Employees at those locations had the opportunity to apply for jobs within GAO and were given assistance in finding jobs with other employers.
any organization that seeks to be a model for others, GAO cannot remain
static in the face of rapid change and evolving client needs. Through
the realignment and other initiatives, we have eliminated a layer of
management, reduced the number of internal "silos" and field offices,
increased our client focus, adopted formal core values for the agency,
implemented more effective matrix management techniques, placed stronger
emphasis on our human capital, and improved the alignment of programmatic
capabilities with our new strategic plan.