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GAO Surveying Thousands on Public Comments to Federal Rulemakings

Washington, D.C. (June 20, 2019) – The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today will begin sending an email survey to more than 10,000 people who are believed to have provided public comments on federal rulemakings. This email survey is part of an effort to better understand how public comments on proposed rulemakings are submitted to federal agencies, and especially the extent to which the comments submitted electronically are actually from those who are listed as having submitted them.

“This is an unprecedented survey for GAO; we want to be sure the public is aware we are conducting such a survey, given the large numbers of people who will receive it. Their answers will help form the basis for a GAO report to Congress in 2020 on the public comment process,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. “The information being gathered has the potential to improve how federal rules are developed. It’s crucial to have as many survey responses as possible, and we are very grateful to members of the public who take the time to respond. ”

To conduct the survey, GAO randomly chose a sample of comments submitted to federal rulemakings that accepted comments from 2013-2017. The agency will send a two-question survey asking individuals whether they submitted the comment associated with their email address.

For more information on the survey, go to, or email us at For questions about GAO, please contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of GAO 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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