GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions

Last updated on 12-14-2017

GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions, 1994 to 2008

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About GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the investigative arm of Congress. Its mission is to support Congress in meeting its Constitutional responsibilities (e.g. oversight, policy, and funding decisions) and to help improve the performance and accountability of the Federal Government for the American people.

GAO Reports

The GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions collection contains reports (”blue books”) on audits, surveys, investigations, and evaluations of Federal programs conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Most reports are done at the request of members of Congress — often committee chairpersons and ranking minority members. All published reports, testimonies, correspondence, and special publications are included. Products that are restricted or classified are not included.

The collection on govinfo contains all publicly released GAO reports from FY95 to September 2008, as well as approximately 85% of the publicly released reports for FY94 and 3% for FY93. Reports are available as ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

Each GAO Report is assigned a report number. Prior to FY01, report numbers included the GAO division or office that performed the analysis (e.g. HEHS-00-198R). Since FY01, all issuing division or office information was removed from the report number and report numbers instead begin with "GAO" (e.g. GAO-02-833T).

NOTE: Report numbers that end in ”R” are correspondence reports (e.g. HEHS-00-198R). These are narrower in scope, of more limited interest, and without recommendations. Report numbers that end in ”T” indicate testimony (e.g. GAO-02-833T.

GAO Comptroller General Decisions

The GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions collection also contains decisions and opinions issued by the Comptroller General in areas of Federal law such as appropriations, bid protests, and Federal agency rulemaking.

The GAO Comptroller General Decisions collection on govinfo contains all publicly released GAO decisions and opinions from October 1995 to September 2008. Documents are available as ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

Each decision is identified by a numbering system beginning with B-(number) and is uniquely identified by B-number and date.

GPO signed a partnership agreement with GAO to provide permanent public access to the GAO Reports and GAO Comptroller General Decisions collection on the GAO Web site. Under this agreement, GAO agrees to provide storage capacity and user access without restrictions on re-dissemination.

The collection on govinfo is provided as an archive of the content as it was at the time the agreement was signed on September 19, 2008. For these and more recent reports, visit the GAO Reports database on the GAO Web site.


Searching GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions

You can find and search the GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions by:

  • Using Basic Search for keyword and metadata fielded searches,
  • Using Advanced Search; fields specific to the GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions will display after you select GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions in the Refine by Collection column,
  • Refining search results by clicking on links in the Refine Your Search panel on the left hand side of the page (the sections under Refine Your Search correspond to the metadata available for the documents), and
  • Browsing the GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions browse page.

General govinfo Search Tips

Search Examples

Search by Report Number – For example, documents with GAO-06-1094T as the report number.

  • Using Basic Search enter: collection:gaoreports reportnumber:"GAO-06-1094T"
  • Using Advanced Search, select GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Report Number from the first box and enter GAO-06-1094T in the next box.

Search by Title – For example, documents with “financial management” in the title.

  • Using Basic Search enter: collection:gaoreports title:"financial management"
  • Using Advanced Search, select GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Title from the first box and enter financial management in the next box.

Search by Report Type – For example, fact sheets.

  • Using Basic Search enter: collection:gaoreports reporttype:"fact sheet"
  • Using Advanced Search, select GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select GAO Report Type from the first box and enter fact sheet in the next box.

Search by Subject – For example, documents with “data collection” as the subject.

  • Using Basic Search enter: collection:gaoreports gaosubject:"data collection"
  • Using Advanced Search, select GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Subject from the first box and enter data collection in the next box.

Search by Report Identifiers – For example, documents with HHS Child Support Enforcement Program as the report identifier.

  • Using Basic Search enter: collection:gaoreports gaoidentifier:"HHS Child Support Enforcement Program"
  • Using Advanced Search, select GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Report Identifiers from the first box and enter HHS Child Support Enforcement Program in the next box.

Search by Series – For example, documents from the Office of Program Planning series.
Note: Searching by series only applies to documents prior to FY 2001.

  • Using Basic Search enter: collection:gaoreports seriesabbrev:OPP
  • Using Advanced Search, select GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Series from the first box and select Office of Program Planning from the next box.

Search by Date – For example, documents issued on May 4, 2005.

  • Using Basic Search enter: collection:gaoreports publishdate:2005-05-04
  • Using Advanced Search, under Date Range select Date Is from the first box then enter or select 05/04/2005 in the next box. Then select GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions under Refine by Collection.

Sample GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions URLs

govinfo uses the Package ID to construct predictable URLs to documents and the Details pages for individual reports and decisions.

Identifier

Structure/Metadata Field

Example

Package ID

GAOREPORTS-{Report Number}

Note: Any slashes in the Report Number are replaced with dashes.

GAOREPORTS-B-299091-3

Details Page for an Individual Report or Decision

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/{Package ID}

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/GAOREPORTS-GAO-08-587T

 

PDF File for an Individual Report or Decision

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{Package ID}/pdf/{Package ID}.pdf

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GAOREPORTS-GAO-08-587T/pdf/GAOREPORTS-GAO-08-587T.pdf

 

HTML File for an Individual Report or Decision

Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{Package ID}/html/{Package ID}.htm

Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GAOREPORTS-GAO-08-587T/html/GAOREPORTS-GAO-08-587T.htm


GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions Metadata Fields and Values

Metadata fields and values can be used to increase the relevancy of your searches. The metadata fields available for the GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions are listed in the table below. Metadata fields and values are used throughout govinfo for

  • Narrowing Your Search,
  • Browsing Government Publications,
  • Field Operators,
  • Advanced Search, and
  • Display on Details Pages.

Metadata fields and values can be entered into the Basic Search box using field operators. The field operators available for the Federal Register are listed in the table below, along with examples for each metadata field. Using Field Operators

Some of these metadata fields are made available for use in Advanced Search. The metadata values can be entered in the same format for the fields available on the Advanced Search Page. Using Advanced Search

Metadata Field Display Name

Metadata Field Definition

Field Operator

Field Operator Example

Collection

The collection to which the document belongs. Typically the same as the publication or series.

collection:

collection:gaoreports

"gaoreports" is used for Congressional Documents

Government Author

The names of the Government organizations responsible for authoring or assembling the document.

governmentauthor:

governmentauthor:"government accountability office"

Publication Date

The date the document was first made available to the public.

publishdate:

publishdate:1995-07-01

Date format is YYYY-MM-DD

Language

The language code of the original document, from the ISO639-2b standard.

language:

language:eng

SuDoc Class Number

The SuDoc class number from the U.S. Superintendent of Documents which classifies Government publications by publishing agency.

sudocclass:

sudocclass:"GA 1.13:NSIAD-97-218"

The SuDoc Class stem is GA 1.13: and the report number (e.g., NSIAD-97-218) is added to complete the SuDoc Class Number.

Ingestion Date

The date the document was ingested into the FDsys preservation repository.

ingestdate:

ingestdate:2009-08-15

Date format is YYYY-MM-DD

Electronic Location (URL)

The URL where the document or the document in context (the content detail page) is located.

url:

url:"http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GAOREPORTS-NSIAD-97-218/pdf/GAOREPORTS-NSIA..."

Publisher

The government organization who publishes the document or publication. Not typically the Government Publishing Office (who serves as the printer and distributor), except in the case of Congressional publications.

publisher:

publisher:"u.s. government printing office"

Branch

The branch of Government responsible for the document's contents.

branch:

branch:legislative

Possible Values: Executive, Legislative,

Judicial

Type of Resource

The media type for the document, typically "text". Defined as part of the Library of Congress MODS standard.

typeofresource:

typeofresource:text

Record Origin

How the record was originally generated. Typically "machine generated."

recordorigin:

recordorigin:"machine generated"

Title

The title of the publication.

title:

title:"federal workforce"

Report Number

The "REPORTNUM" attribute found in the Indexing Terms section of the text file or the B-number found in the Comptroller General Reports.

reportnumber:

reportnumber:"GAO-06-1094T"

GAO Report Type

Type of GAO publication including briefing report, chapter report, decision, fact sheet, statement of record, letter report (blue book), correspondence, staff study, testimony, or other written product.

reporttype:

reporttype:"chapter report"

Possible Values:

  • Briefing Report
  • Chapter Report
  • Decision
  • Fact Sheet
  • Statement of Record
  • Letter Report (Blue Book)
  • Correspondence
  • Staff Study
  • Testimony
  • Oral Presentation
  • Other Written Product

Series

Prior to FY01, report series abbreviations included the GAO division or office that performed the analysis for the report. For example, in the report number "RCED-99-47," "RCED" is the report series abbreviation, and it stands for "Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division."

 

Beginning with FY01, all issuing division or office information was removed from the report number. Report numbers now begin with "GAO."

seriesabbrev:

seriesabbrev:RCED

Possible Values: See table below

Subject

The "SUBJECT" attribute found in the Indexing Terms section of the text file. Includes references to countries, states, treaties, programs, and other named things that are relevant to the subject of the report.  

gaosubject:

gaosubject:"data collection"

Report Identifiers

The "IDENTIFIER" attribute found in the Indexing Terms section of the text file. Includes specific government programs and systems.

gaoidentifier:

gaoidentifier:"HHS Child Support Enforcement Program"

Account Number

The "ACCOUNTNO" attribute found in the Indexing Terms section of the text file. This is the GAO account number for this report.

accountnumber:

accountnumber:A00732

Citation

The GPO standard method for searching citation references from the selected publication.

citation:

citation:GAO-06-359R

CFR Citation

Citation references to the Code of Federal Regulations. Examples include "40 CFR 32", "40 CFR 32.132" or "40 CFR Chapter II".

cfrcitation:

crfrcitation:"29 CFR  37"

Congressional Bills Citation

Citation references to Congressional Bills. Examples include, "H.R. 99", "S. 99" "H.J. Res. 99", "S.J. Res. 99", "H. Con. Res. 99", "S. Con. Res. 99", "H. Res. 99" or "S. Res. 99".

billscitation:

billscitation:"h.r. 1"

Public and Private Law References

Citation references to Public or Private Laws. For example, "Public Law 110-32" or "Private Law 110-3".

plawcitation:

plawcitation:"Public Law 107-314"

United States Code Citation

Citation references to the United States Code. For example, "42 U.S.C. 5841" or "42 U.S.C. App. 99"

uscodecitation:

uscodecitation:"47 U.S.C. 214"

Statutes at Large Citation

Citation references to Statutes at Large. For example, "88 Stat. 1242".

statutecitation:

statutecitation:"121 Stat. 266"

Reference Citation

Reference to another document within the text of a document.

refcitation:

refcitation:"h.r. 1"

Series Metadata Values

The table below lists the metadata values which can be used when limiting your search using the Series advanced search field or the seriesabbrev: field operator.

Metadata Value

User Readable Value

AIMD

Accounting and Information Management Division

GGD

GGD - General Government Division

HEHS

HEHS - Health, Education, and Human Services Division

NRD

HRD - Human Resources Division

NSIAD

NSIAD - National Security and International Affairs Division

OCG

OCG - Office of the Comptroller General

OGC

OGC - Office of the General Counsel

OIMC

OIMC - Office of Information Management and Communications

OP

OP - Office of Policy

OPP

OPP - Office of Program Planning

OSI

OSI - Office of Special Investigations

PEMD

PEMD - Program Evaluation and Methodology Division

RCED

RCED - Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division


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