Government Accountability Office - GAO

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DEFINITION of 'Government Accountability Office - GAO'

A department of the U.S. government that monitors and audits government spending. The General Accountability Office (GAO) tracks how the legislative and executive branches of the government use tax-payer dollars and then reports the findings directly to Congress. The Comptroller General serves as head of the GAO.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Government Accountability Office - GAO'

The GAO serves as a sort of financial watchdog over government spending. It monitors the operating results, financial positions and accounting systems used by the various governmental agencies. The GAO also conducts routine audits on all branches of government.

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