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GAO Issues "Green Book" Update to Help Improve Government Accountability and Performance

WASHINGTON, DC (September 10, 2014)—In an effort to help all federal agencies improve their performance, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued its revised Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, also known as the “Green Book." The book sets the standards for an effective internal control system for federal agencies, a crucial safeguard over public resources. Internal control is an organizational process that can aid agencies in working more efficiently and effectively, reporting accurately on their operations, and complying with applicable laws and regulations.

“With continuing tight federal budgets, it’s vital that agencies make careful use of the resources they have been given and provide a reliable stewardship of their activities,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. “The revised Green Book standards reflect various changes to the government operating environment, such as the expanded use of information technology, and are an important tool that federal managers can use to achieve their goals.”

The new edition of the Green book has greater detail and depth. While retaining the five components of internal control found in past editions, which apply to all organizational levels and to all categories of objectives, the 2014 version also presents 17 new principles that enumerate management responsibilities in implementing and overseeing an effective internal control system.

The new Green Book, which will supersede Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government (GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1, November 1999), will be effective beginning fiscal year 2016 and will apply to the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act reports covering that year. Federal management, at its discretion, may elect early adoption of the 2014 Green Book. State, local, and quasi-governmental entities, as well as not-for-profit organizations, have the option of adopting the new Green Book standards as a framework for an internal control system.

Dodaro acknowledged the significant contributions that a number of government officials, public accounting professionals, and other members of the audit and academic communities made to the new Green Book. He also thanked the members of the Advisory Council on Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government for their help in developing and finalizing the standards.

The 2014 Green Book is available on GAOs website at For more information, contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs, at 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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