The federal government is full agencies that go by well-known acronyms, like the FBI, CIA and DOD. However, have you heard of the GOA? GOA stands for the Government Accountability Office. While not a sexy name, the GAO is an important part of the federal government. As part of the legislative branch, the “GAO provides Congress, the heads of executive agencies, and the public with timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can be used to improve government and save taxpayers billions of dollars.” Their work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is required by public law. The Government Accountability Office is commonly known as the “congressional watchdog”. When significant amounts of taxpayer money are found to be wasted or inappropriately spent, often the GAO is the first agency to notice.
For students looking for government internships, the GAO should be considered. For the last two years, the GAO has ranked number one in the Partnership for Public Service’s Best Places to Work rankings among mid-size federal agencies.
In addition to internships, the GAO offers a Professional Development Program for recent graduates that focuses on developing entry-level staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to meet GAO’s mission through work experiences, training, and ongoing coaching and feedback throughout a two-year program. Staff are generally rotated among GAO’s mission teams or placed in staff offices.
David Trimble from the Lawrence class of 1982 (Philosophy) currently works at the GAO and says working for the GAO is “in many ways it is the perfect fit for anyone that appreciates a liberal arts education.”
For more information, click here for details on GAO internships and here for more about the GAO Professional Development Program.