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An independent, nonpartisan agency of Congress, known as "the investigative arm of Congress" and "the congressional watchdog." This agency supports Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government. According to its mission statement: "GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions."

Synonyms: GAO
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