Making the Most of Your Resources: Working with GAO

How to improve your oversight by calling on the experts and expertise of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent, nonpartisan agency that supports Congress.


Mar 17, 2023 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


  • Nikki Clowers, Managing Director, Congressional Relations, Government Accountability Office. She oversees GAO's relationship with congressional leaders, committees, Members, and their staffs. She is also one of the co-leads of GAO's oversight of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Nikki joined GAO in July 1998. Prior to leading Congressional Relations, Nikki was the Managing Director of the Health Care team. She was responsible for the oversight of multiple high-risk programs and issues including Medicare, Medicaid, medical product oversight, veteran’s health care, the Indian Health Service, and drug misuse and abuse. Nikki was also a Director in the Financial Markets and Community Investment team, where she was responsible for work on banking and securities issues, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the Dodd-Frank Act reforms. Nikki earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia. Nikki earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Nikki is also a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow and was the recipient of the Arthur S. Flemming Award for outstanding public service in 2009.
  • Parker Chapman, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He has been with the Committee for five and a half years. He started with the Subcommittee on Health before moving to Oversight and Investigations. Before joining the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, he interned with the House Budget Committee.

This training is moderated by Tim Stretton, Director of the Congressional Oversight Initiative. 

Training Resources: 

  • GAO Overview for Congressional Staff, PowerPoint that gives an overview of the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) authority, organization, work, and how it works with Congress.
  • 3 GAO Handouts, consisting of an Intro to GAO; Request Processing and Timing; Areas of Expertise
  • For Congress, GAO provides a number of services to Members of Congress. Whether you’re new to Congress or you just want a refresher, videos from GAO explain what they can do for you.
  • Recommendations Database, Search GAO's report recommendations open database to see all of their recommendations that have yet to be implemented.
  • High Risk List, A list of programs and operations that are vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement, or in need of transformation. 
  • Duplication and cost savings, GAO’s annual report on the federal government’s opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication, as well as reduce costs and increase revenue.