U.S. Government Accountability Office Reviews

Updated August 25, 2015
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99 Employee Reviews

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  1. A great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Social Science Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Social Science Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at U.S. Government Accountability Office full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Work on really important policy issues. Work has impact. High amounts of autonomy. Great working environment. Collaborative. Smart people. Good leadership and strong union. Strong professional development program for young professionals. Pay for performance.

    Cons

    Human resources -- they never cease to amaze me, and not in a good way. Getting promoted takes longer than one might expect. Risk averse organization

    Advice to Management

    Think hard about who you are promoting at the top (Director) level. They will be the face of GAO to Congress. Take more risks.


  2. Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This is a great federal agency to work for. The people are so professional and the culture really values work life balance.

    Cons

    The pay is not keeping up. With government appropriations not at their peak, those of us who have been there a while have felt the pinch.

    Advice to Management

    I would try to find a way to help boost morale. We are losing top talent all the time and we need to find ways to keep our pay competitive.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Generally good, some bad apples

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Policy Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Policy Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at U.S. Government Accountability Office full-time

    Pros

    The work is well-respected and you get good access to information that would otherwise be hard to get. Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Lot's of stakeholders to please, and the occasionally highly-inept middle manager. Upper management is actually very good, but there are too many Assistant Directors that have risen to the level of their incompetence.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to fire some of the deadwood.


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  5. 3rd best government place to work for a reason.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - GAO IT Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - GAO IT Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at U.S. Government Accountability Office full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Not on the GS schedule and does not have to answer to OMB on the usual mundane paper work and regulations. Very flexible work schedule, free parking, and a full sized gym on location.

    Cons

    Extreme penny pinching on technology. Using a laptop that is about 8 years old and a 17 inch monitor to boot. Confusing merit increase system.


  6. GAO

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    GAO typically hires only individuals with a Master's degree or above so you are ensured a bright group of individuals to work with.

    Cons

    It is still the government and unqualified people get promoted for time served.


  7. Great agency but culture can be a challenge

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    pro-family, flexible, smart and hardworking coworkers, new and challenging work

    Cons

    dry and boring work environment, little room for out of the box ideas


  8. Helpful (2)

    Family Friendly but Stifling

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Attorney in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Attorney in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at U.S. Government Accountability Office full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    GAO has a very strong work-life balance: telework, AWS, flexible hours, casual dress code are all great benefits. Also, it is not on the general schedule, so employees can get pay increases much faster than in other government agencies.

    Cons

    GAO is so focused on work-life balance that it has perhaps gone too far. Poor performers are rarely dealt with and employees miss deadlines without consequence. Also, promotions are based more on favoritism and diversity, rather than true merit, Therefore, the leadership is pretty unimpressive. Finally, (perhaps on account of the fact that GAO is an accounting organization), there is much more focus on following prescribed policies and procedures than on making sure products are issued on time and have useful and substantive information.

    Advice to Management

    Rethink the promotions process and include management outside the team. Lighten up on all of the policies and procedures and give equal weight to usefulness/timeliness of reports.


  9. Family friendly

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Office is family-friendly, benefits are outstanding and that says a lot in federal government, good work recognized with pay bonuses, ability to contribute facts to the political debate

    Cons

    Work products must pass through several levels of review


  10. Helpful (4)

    Learn Great Skills

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at U.S. Government Accountability Office full-time

    Pros

    Has a decent cafeteria Work/life balance Lots of training courses Has field offices in several cities if you want or need to transfer Some coworkers will be nice You will learn how to research and write pretty well if you couldn't before getting there You will have the opportunity to gain confidence communicating with all levels of professionals in a concise, bottom line way

    Cons

    Projects can be boring Don't share if things aren't going right; it'll be viewed as your fault Intellectual envy and big egos Promotions can be highly unfair Some coworkers can be quite difficult maybe because of the above cons

    Advice to Management

    Not sure what to say. I don't think things will change unless people start telling the truth to management. A lot of things are said in inner circles or cliques that isn't said directly to management.


  11. Very smart group of analysts

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Policy Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Policy Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at U.S. Government Accountability Office full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -A great place to learn how to do rigorous policy analysis -Smart and friendly co-workers

    Cons

    -Quality management can often trump meaningful report development.

    Advice to Management

    Much of GAO's performance auditing work is mixed methods program evaluation work. Consider exposing junior analysts to more of those techniques as well as the project management skills that are the stepping stones to a successful GAO career.



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