Skip to main content

FOIA Requests

Jump To:



The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 USC 552). However, GAO's disclosure policy follows the spirit of the act consistent with GAO's duties and functions as an agency with primary responsibility to the Congress.

See 4 CFR 81 on public availability of GAO records.

How to Request Records

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and recommendations to practice social distancing, FOIA staff are working remotely. As a result, we discourage submission of concerns via regular mail as this may cause a delay in our response. We strongly encourage you to submit your concern online so we may provide a more timely response and continue to serve the public.

Requests from the public for access to GAO records go through GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office. 

Make your request by email to the Chief Quality Officer at

We may charge fees. See 4 CFR 81.7. Questions? Contact Stephen Chappell at 202-512-2513 or

Expedited Processing and Appeal Rights

We consider expedited processing requests from

  • requesters who show that delays pose an imminent threat to a person’s life or physical safety, or
  • journalists who show an urgent need to inform the public about actual or alleged federal government activity.

See 4 CFR 81.4(b) and 4 CFR 81.3(f).

If your request to release records is denied, you may appeal that decision by sending a letter to the U.S. Comptroller General explaining why you believe the denial was unwarranted. You must submit your appeal within 60 days of denial. See 4 CFR 81.4(d).

GAO does not release records that

  • originate outside of GAO (those requests are referred to the original source);
  • are part of an ongoing review or other current projects; or
  • relate to work performed in response to a congressional request, unless the congressional requester authorizes the release.