Government Accountability Office (GAO)?
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the non-partisan audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress, and an agency in the Legislative Branch of the United States Government. The GAO was established by the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921. According to GAO's current mission statement, the agency exists to support the Congress in meeting its Constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the American people. The GAO is headed by the Comptroller General of the United States, a unique non-partisan position in the U.S. Government. The Comptroller General is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate for a 15-year, non-renewable term. The President selects a nominee from a list of at least three individuals recommended by an 8 member commission of congressional leaders. The Comptroller General may not be removed by the President, but only by Congress through impeachment or joint resolution for specific reasons. GAO examines the use of public funds, evaluates federal programs and activities, and provides analyses, options, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make effective oversight, policy, and funding decisions. In this context, GAO works to continuously improve the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the federal government through financial audits, program reviews and evaluations, analyses, legal opinions, investigations, and other services. The GAO's activities are designed to ensure the executive branch's accountability to the Congress under the Constitution and the government's accountability to the American people.