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GAO Deepens Science and Technology Capabilities

Washington, D.C. (January 29, 2019)—The U.S. Government Accountability Office today launched a new Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics Team to better meet Congress’ growing need for information on science and technology issues. The congressional watchdog agency is combining and enhancing its technology assessment functions and its science and technology evaluation into a single, more prominent office that will expand GAO’s support to lawmakers on cutting-edge topics, such as artificial intelligence, regenerative medicine, 5G wireless communication, and quantum computing.

“I’m very proud of GAO’s efforts to keep policymakers abreast of emerging opportunities, as well as challenges, in the science and technology fields,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO.  “The work of our science, technology assessment, and analytics team is designed to help Congress oversee the substantial federal investment in science and technology, enhance U.S. innovation and competitiveness, and consider the implications and potential policy options concerning emerging technologies.”

For some time, GAO has examined science and technology matters in connection with its reviews of federal agencies and programs. By consolidating its science and technology work in one unit and adding additional resources, the agency anticipates synergies that will enhance its work for Congress.  Consistent with the 2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Conference Report, the new team will: 

  • Conduct technology assessments and provide technical assistance directly to Congress
  • Review science and technology programs in the federal government
  • Compile and utilize best practices in the engineering sciences, including cost, schedule, and technology readiness assessment
  • Establish an audit innovation lab to explore, pilot, and deploy new advanced analytic capabilities, information assurance auditing, and emerging technologies that are expected to greatly impact auditing practices

Chief Scientist and Managing Director Timothy Persons and Managing Director John Neumann, formerly a director on GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment audit team, will jointly manage the new office.  GAO plans to double the size of its current combined science and technology workforce over the next few years. GAO has prepared a video that provides more information on the team’s mission and responsibilities.

For more information, please contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs, at or (202) 512-4800.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO's commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.

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