Strategic Planning, Performance, and Accountability

GAO's mission is 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. We examine how taxpayer dollars are spent and advise lawmakers and agency heads on ways to make government work better. In short, we accomplish our mission by providing objective and reliable information and analysis to the Congress, to federal agencies, and to the public, and we recommend improvements, when appropriate, on a wide variety of issues.

Although GAO is a legislative-branch agency, we produce a strategic plan, a performance plan, and an annual performance and accountability report with information comparable to that reported by executive-branch agencies. The strategies and means that we use to accomplish our mission are described in these documents. We assess our performance using a balanced set of quantitative performance measures that focus on key areas--results, client, people, and internal operations. We report on these measures in the annual performance and accountability report. The performance and accountability report also fulfills our requirement to report annually on the work of the Comptroller General under the U.S. Code (31 U.S.C. 719).