U.S. Government Accountability Office Reviews | Glassdoor

U.S. Government Accountability Office Reviews

Updated June 4, 2018
156 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

3.0
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
U.S. Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Eugene Louis Dodaro
Eugene Louis Dodaro
85 Ratings

156 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
  • "work/life balance is incredible" (in 50 reviews)

  • "Great work-life balance in terms of alternative work schedules, telework, and generally working a 40 hour week" (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • "The work can move very slowly, and the organization is on the whole slow to change and risk-averse" (in 12 reviews)

  • "Introverted peers in work environment can appear a bit isolated" (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Basic review"

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, work-life balance, learning government writing,

    Cons

    Slow to change, Lots of senior people who are not engaged


  2. "PDP analyst"

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

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

    Pros

    Good work/life balance
    Interesting topics
    Mostly enjoyable team environment

    Cons

    No guatantee you’ll work in an area where you have experience
    Slow work pace

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Office of General Counsel - Just Don't"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Vacations, weekends and nights and evenings

    Cons

    One is better off at an executive branch agency as the work is more fulfilling and meaningful.

    At GAO, the lawyers are at the bottom of the food chain - we are nothing but "support staff." Our services are nominally needed and our opinions are not respected.

    The only part of OGC that has any kind of import is the procurement function and that group has its own problems.

    Meanwhile, awards and promotions are not based on merit, attorneys are not well treated and management does not listen. This place calls itself "the Harvard of the Federal Government." Seriously. The only reason for that is because we have so little of significance to do, we are required to make academic exercises of moot and irrelevant things solely to justify our existence.

    Lawyers here are not happy and management refuses to listen. The previous general counsel was forced into retirement due to a downward spiral in employee morale.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "OK place to work, but burnout guaranteed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - flex schedules
    - telework
    - jeans Fridays

    Cons

    - the nature of the work and they way it's done leads to burnout
    - people are so detail-oriented and have to get in the weeds about everything, that the big picture of the report is lost, time is wasted on unnecessary analysis, the scope gets expanded, and there are SO. MANY. MEETINGS. to discuss the same things over and over
    - no freedom to be creative or think outside the GAO way
    - if you can get along with people and do good work, you will be teamed up with all the people no one else wants to work with...constantly
     - lack of training on project management
    - high-performing analysts are promoted to management positions, but strong analytical skills do not mean the person can interact appropriately with or lead others
    - multiple experiences with workplace bullying; nothing done to address issues even after informing managers
    - the work is tedious, boring, extremely process-oriented, and takes about a year on average to issue the report
    - pay is not on par with auditors at Inspector General offices
    - promotion and leadership opportunities are scarce and not always given on merit
    - upward feedback/complaints discouraged or ignored
    - recognition and rewards are given to people who work on high-profile jobs that get the attention of the press or Congress -- those that are staffed to jobs with little public interest, even if the team did great work by GAO standards equal or better than the high-profile job, will not be rewarded. (most of the time you will have no say on what job you get staffed to so getting fast-tracked for promotion can be entirely luck)
    - supervisors can make or break your career - advocates and mentors are invaluable but most managers aren't concerned with the human aspect of getting the job done
    - everyone is a "yes" person to management even when they should push back

    Advice to Management

    Align pay to similar IG jobs. Reward and recognize staff for doing good work regardless of the number of downloads. Train managers on people skills. Allow people to choose an analyst career path with promotion potential that does not require becoming a manager -- let good analysts continue to be good analysts and not have to take on managing others to advance when that is not a skill they have or want to develop.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Office of General Counsel at GAO. Don't work here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at U.S. Government Accountability Office full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some kind and smart coworkers.

    Cons

    Employees are afraid to speak up about issues of concern because management holds grudges. Management within OGC does not stick up for the attorneys, and the agency's management doesn't care about the attorneys because we're not unionized and they can ignore us. The work is not intellectually challenging, and the analyst groups are not required to listen to legal advice, so the job often feels pointless. The agency recently had a big PR effort about making people feel valued, but OGC's attorneys do not feel valued or appreciated for their work.


  6. "GAO is a great place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    - really nice and intelligent co-workers
    - work/life balance is incredible
    - pays well compared to industry

    Cons

    - slow slow work environment
    - difficult to promote and run teams
    - government bureaucracy

    Advice to Management

    - Find a way to get high performing employees on multiple report engagements.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Not a good place to join mid-career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People are smart and hard-working. Everyone I’ve worked with has also been friendly & welcoming. It’s an intellectually engaging environment - lots of people with PhDs. My salary is also good - they matched what I would make on the GS system. I think this is where things can get arbitrary, but I’ve seen them make enormous concessions to people with tricky family situations - like holding someone’s job for a year when she went to live with her husband overseas, letting people go to part time, no judgment for taking time off due to sick kids, etc.

    Cons

    GAO has an extremely rigid process for putting out reports. If you’re a mid-career professional with subject matter expertise, it will be irrelevant because you’ll be so baffled by the intricacies of the report process itself. The adjustment is extremely difficult and I found out once I got here people hired mid-career are notorious for not staying. As someone else mentioned below, it can feel cult-like at times. The head of the agency is a great guy, but he’s worked at GAO for 40 years - his entire career - and that’s not unusual. Transitioning from an OIG or another agency that does investigative/audit work might be easier, but from what I’ve seen they hire mid-career to bring in people with specialized knowledge of some kind of policy issue.

    Also, no one bothers to mention this in advance, but you will have to fill out the SF-86 background investigation form as if you are getting a secret clearance even if you don’t work with classified materials. Make sure you’re ok filling out that form before you take the job.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Analyst Intern"

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

    I worked at U.S. Government Accountability Office part-time

    Pros

    Your coworkers are supportive and encouraging and trust their interns with real work.

    Cons

    You don't have much say on which teams/projects you work on.


  9. "Great Place to Work, Salary and Promotions Don't Track with GS Schedule"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior International Affairs Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior International Affairs 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

    Flexible work schedules, family friendly, telework,

    Agency is working hard to value employees and promote diversity.

    Cons

    Salary is behind the GS schedule, and friends with similar experience in the executive branch make more.

    Organization is very flat and hard to promote past a certain point.

    Management tends to knit-pick you to death.

    Advice to Management

    Highlight things that people are doing well rather than honing in on the small things that tend to be irrelevant.


  10. "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Very intelligent coworkers who have the ability impart their knowledge to less experienced staff.

    Cons

    Long engagements that can seem to lose focus.

    Advice to Management

    Flexible schedules and telework opportunities are valuable tools which help to boost morale.


Showing 156 of 180 reviews
Reset Filters