Government Accountability Office
agency within the legislative branch charged with auditing and evaluating government programs and activities to ensure effective and efficient disbursement of public funds. The GAO, headed by the Comptroller General of the United States, is the investigative arm of Congress, performing reviews requested by committee chairpersons and ranking minority members as well as those required by law or initiated independently by the GAO itself. The GAO also advises Congress on legal issues involving government programs and activities, assists in drafting legislation and reviewing legislative proposals, and assists government agencies in interpreting the laws governing the expenditure of public funds.
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