U.S. Government Accountability Office Reviews | Glassdoor

U.S. Government Accountability Office Reviews

Updated April 1, 2017
134 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.8
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U.S. Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Eugene Louis Dodaro
Eugene Louis Dodaro
70 Ratings

134 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Risk averse agency, lots of people are fairly stuck in policies and procedures in a way that can be very frustrating (in 10 reviews)

  • Not fast paced work environment, for better or worse (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "GAO and the golden handcuffs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst (Band 2A) in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst (Band 2A) in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    High quality people and projects. Work/life balance is an agency priority. GAO has broad access to federal agency information, and there are many opportunities to learn.

    Cons

    The organization is extremely risk-averse and process-focused, which can impact delivery and diminish the impact of the work. Pay is at least 10 percent below market value.


  2. "A great place to start an auditing career"

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

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

    Pros

    - Tremendous commitment to personnel development
    - Plenty of opportunities to attend meetings and presentations designed to broaden your
       awareness of current events and relevant business/federal topics.

    Cons

    - Intellectual bullying exists to a very limited extent.


  3. "Solid analytical work"

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

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

    Pros

    Robust analytical framework; meaningful work and high-potential for making impact

    Cons

    Laborious quality control process; moderate training opportunities; too many unspoken rules and insufficient help from management to decipher cryptic culture

    Advice to Management

    Develop mentoring programs


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  5. "Great flexibility, staff-focused, intelligent coworkers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst (PDP) in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Analyst (PDP) 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

    Work-life balance cannot be beaten
    Salary potentially good for some with prior experience
    Staff-focus on part of management
    Government benefits are great

    Cons

    Introverted peers in work environment can appear a bit isolated
    Slow project pace can lead to disinterest - must be strongly self-motivated
    Limited advancement opportunities

    Advice to Management

    Try to open up mobility within the workforce


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst (Band I)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst (Band I) in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Analyst (Band I) in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The first two years in the PDP program are great because it's a very structured program that allows you to rotate through different teams. Also, there are opportunities for raises every 6 months.

    Cons

    Opportunities after the PDP program are more uncertain and it seems as if there is a bottleneck from moving from a Band I analyst to a Band II analyst.

    Advice to Management

    It'd be great to find better ways to compensate employees appropriately after the PDP program, especially considering how much better other federal employees are compensated.


  7. "Good place for a starting internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Student Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Student Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at U.S. Government Accountability Office (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Friendly atmosphere
    - Received experience from a knowledgeable mentor (though this obviously can vary depending on where you work)
    - Casual Fridays and Business Casual attire also a plus
    - relatively nice area (at least until nighttime)

    Cons

    - Some lazy/lethargic individuals (though this is the federal government so it is to be expected to an extent).
    - GAO watchdog cafeteria lacks in quality and variety (though this is opinion and the local neighborhood has plenty of alternative restaurants)


  8. "Relevant Work, but Frustrating at tme"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    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

    You are given a lot of responsibility here at this agency. One day you could be presenting materials to senior level executive branch employees and the next day you could be briefing a congressional committee. This challenging environment means you have consistently perform at a high level all of the time.

    Cons

    This is not a good place to come to salary wise if you already have a lot of experience. You will not be compensated for the level of work you have to do. Some of the lowest level employees here could be senior managers in other places.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great palce to start a career for a newly-minted MPP"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Audit Specialist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Audit Specialist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    GAO was my first job right out of grad school, and to this day, I believe that it was, by far, the best decision I made career-wise.

    Cons

    There is definitely a GAO-type, which I must admit I never really became used to. Do factor that into your equation when deciding if you really want to work there see below).

    I concur with someone who wrote that being super close to your Supervisor is the single most important factor for success or failure, and there was plenty of people who were never supported for promotions.

    On the GAO type (specifically on the supervisors you will be dealing with), I think there are two types: (1) the typical career bureaucrat who joined straight out of college (no grad degree) and put up with 35 years worth of BS. The other (2) frustrated Ph.D. holders who never landed their dream college gig and realized that the next best thing was to work inside a large performance evaluation shop which can be as quiet as a library most of the time. Type 1 will be more easy-going, while Type 2 seem to want to recreat silly intellectual battles more akin to academic environments and will dwell endlessly on that perfect word, or rewrite (or suggest edits) on everything, just because the tone could be so much better. It can be very demoralizing at times.

    After leaving GAO I have worked for many years at audit shops of UN agencies in many postings around the globe. I also worked with global technology. Nowhere else will you have the number of brains and time to address audit-related inquires. It's great while at GAO (if slow, at times), but don't expect that to be an industry-wide standard by any means. So, learn the tools of the trade while there, but don't expect them to be a standard to which everyone will and must adhere to.

    Advice to Management

    Think outside the GAO shoe box.


  10. "Security Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Specialist in Timonium, MD
    Current Employee - Security Specialist in Timonium, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Review security technology, create management reports, security metrics, standard operating procedures, and establish monitoring for newly identified security threats.

    Cons

    Hiring process is take too long


  11. Helpful (1)

    "My First Federal Civilian Job"

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

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

    Pros

    People are great! Family environment, provides childcare, parking, good benefits, job flexibility for most, and outstanding training.

    Cons

    Needs to work on employees/workforce. Many people are not fully qualified for the positions they hold, yet are not liable to even learn their jobs to get it done (someone else is asked to please do it for them" type thing). GAO's mission is supported by the majority of the people who are work horses and they make up for the substandard ones who want to be left alone so they don't have to do their job. Not very incentivizing.

    Advice to Management

    Hold employees accountable to do their own work and work the hours they are paid to work instead of finding someone to fill-in so they can leave early. Traffic is awful for everyone! And most people have families too! Shouldn't be a "who you are or a who you know" thing.



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