General Accounting Office - Investment & Finance Definition
The arm of Congress that investigates the performances of governmental agencies or programs. The GAO evaluates how public funds are spent and whether federal programs are meeting their stated goals. Congress usually requests the reports and investigations that it wants the GAO to conduct, though some reports are required by law, such as periodic reviews of programs that Congress created. The GAO also serves as Congress’s investigative arm and provides analytical, investigative, and legal services in order to provide Congress with information to use in creating policy and making decisions.