Requests for GAO work come from Congress. Members of Congress can log into our Watchdog website for Congress (accessible through the congressional computer network) to learn more about sending us request letters. Members of Congress can e-mail a request letter to our Congressional Relations office.
For assistance drafting a request letter, Members of Congress can contact the Office of Congressional Relations at (202) 512-4400.
Once GAO accepts a congressional request, we assemble the team and initiate the audit work.
Timing on initiation depends on staff availability.
The team meets with GAO experts, stakeholders, and management to design an audit method—one that is fact-based and can support our findings and potential recommendations.
This process typically takes about 3 months.
Congressional requesters of the work can ask for a briefing on the status of work or for preliminary findings at any point during our audit.
Members of Congress and their staff have access to information regarding GAO’s ongoing work through our Watchdog website for Congress (accessible through the congressional computer network).
We send our draft report to the audited agencies for comment.
At this time, congressional requesters of the work will also receive an informational copy.
We typically issue the report about 14 days after receiving agency comments.
We will contact the congressional requesters of the work to confirm the date.
Congressional requesters are allowed to restrict reports for up to 30 days before public release. This restriction can sometimes mean that the public release date of the report is up to 30 days after the publication date.
GAO work that results from legislative mandates is made public as soon as it is issued to Congress.
All unclassified GAO reports are available to the public for free on our website. Anyone can order printed copies of our reports.