U.S. Government Accountability Office Reviews | Glassdoor

U.S. Government Accountability Office Reviews

Updated November 29, 2017
147 reviews

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3.3
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U.S. Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Eugene Louis Dodaro
Eugene Louis Dodaro
77 Ratings

147 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • AMAZING work/life balance, you get to choose your own schedule with approval or telework based on your job (in 48 reviews)

  • Great flexibility and smart people (in 11 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 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good for Generalists"

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

    Pros

    Job security is good, and the mission teams cover some interesting areas.

    Cons

    Innovation is limited, little opportunity to advance beyond Band II level.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Worst job experience of my career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    None unless you're new to the federal government and you don't know any better. Beware of the claim that GAO is the second best place to work in the federal government. While that is true for midsize agencies, there are about 17 agencies overall that get better scores than GAO. And just don't put a lot of weight on those surveys since your experience will vary based on your team and your supervisor.
    I can see why some people love the flexibility, but unfortunately since that flexibility is up to each supervisor, you might not get the same level of flexibility as other people.
    Their diversity and inclusion program is robust but it is more smoke and mirrors than substance, so again, don't pay too much attention to those best place to work surveys.

    Cons

    No one who is a talented, competent and tenured federal employee has any business joining GAO. They make you go through a probationary period all over again. While that doesn't sound like a big deal if you have been successful elsewhere, when you add to the mix a culture of bullying with spineless leadership, you run the risk of jeopardizing your career if you end up working with an incompetent and/or sadistic supervisor. The systems in place to protect employees from abusive practices are weak at best. Please don't do it! There are plenty of agencies out there that will do a much better job protecting you from abuse from the get go. GAO is not one of them.

    Other than that, GAO feels more like a cult than a federal job. Most people have been there since the day they were born and have a hard time understanding concepts if they are not explained as they relate to GAO. This is yet another reason for perfectly good and talented federal employees to stay away, Your fresh and new perspective is not welcome at GAO because it is not GAO enough.
    Seriously, don't do it.

    Last but not least, I cannot stress enough how little those best places to work matter. I was lured to GAO because of all the smoke and mirrors of the surveys and diversity and flexibility and blah blah blah. I was so wrong about my choice! In the many years I have worked at many places, a few were pretty challenging, but I had never EVER felt so unsafe as I did working at GAO. I was threatened, intimidated, bullied, you name it. Remember the weak leadership? They did absolutely nothing about it.
    Please stay away. It may be great for many, but when it's bad, it is really really bad.

    Advice to Management

    This is an auditing agency that is constantly checking facts, indexing, referencing, and asking lots of questions from others. Why not apply this method internally when dealing with bad apple employees who are undermining the accountability, reliability and integrity of the agency> Please get a spine and deal with abusive behavior!

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great with diversity initiatives"

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

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

    Pros

    Good work life balance, small community feel, academic environment, and good people.

    Cons

    Slow upward mobility, performance system sucks, pay is suppressed, and indexing and referencing is for the birds!

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting people who are bad managers.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Avoid Office of General Counsel"

    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

    Some of the line attorneys are good people and friends

    Cons

    Management of OGC is out for themselves and not for the satisfaction of their employees

    Being an audit support attorney is tedious, boring and beneath most lawyers' intelligence level

    Very little chance for advancement unless can become part of the ruling clique

    Advice to Management

    Care about your people instead of yourselves


  5. Helpful (1)

    "GAO: Office of General Counsel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Associate General Counsel in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Managing Associate General Counsel in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Incredibly family friendly even for senior executives

    Cons

    The management of the Office of General Counsel is slow to innovate, resistant to change, and completely insular, which has lead to plummeting employee reviews.


  6. "Good but could improve"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great flexibility and smart people

    Cons

    not much career progress and interesting work can be made boring because of the process


  7. "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

  8. "Great place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing work-life balance. Interesting work. Smart and intelligent workforce, on the whole. Great benefits. Open atmosphere, focused on diversity and inclusiveness. The current CG is an excellent leader focused on ensuring that we continue to meet the needs of Congress by providing unbiased, non-partisan research and evaluations of the federal government. Excellent salary, with pay bands so even those with many years of experience may keep their higher salaries when coming into GAO (even thiughnyounmaybhave to take a lower title).

    Cons

    Lots of introverts make it difficult for many to adjust as the work is completed in teams of usually 3 to 4 people.

    Advice to Management

    Continue doing what you're doing!


  9. "Interesting work, tedious administrative requirements, and complex promotion process"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Interesting and meaningful work. Flexible work environment.

    Cons

    Complex and competitive promotion process. Promotions are merit based, but can be swayed by lawsuits, and are divided among Directors instead of given to the top candidates across the team


  10. "Develops talent and promotes learning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Student Trainee (Management and Program Analysis)
    Former Employee - Student Trainee (Management and Program Analysis)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Paid me a living wage as an intern! Not always the case in DC

    They are willing to give interns responsibility for major projects

    The ability to get a closer look at the operations and practices of the federal government - both within the GAO and in agencies audited

    Casual environment: not overly hierarchical

    Senior staff and managers makes themselves available for guidance

    Flexible hours (assuming that you make 80 hours every two weeks); also flexible for working from home, and people working from other places in the country

    Encouragement to learn: from other people's projects, congressional hearings, doing background reading for a project

    Great location in DC

    Strong efforts to create a culture: ice cream parties, baseball games, happy hours

    Cons

    Slower-paced research work: not for everyone


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