GAO’s headquarters building features a fitness center, day care center, credit union, cafeteria, health unit, and snack bar. The amenities available at our field offices differ from location to location. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some building amenities may be closed temporarily.
Compensation is based on a variety of factors, including the type of position, experience, education, and locality. GAO does not use the General Schedule or Judiciary Salary Plan.
Most employees are covered by one of several agency established pay systems based on the employee's individual position. Each of these unique pay systems has its own band structure and salary ranges, and progression is based on performance rather than longevity.
Salaries are adjusted annually as part of GAO’s performance-based compensation system (PBC). The adjustment has two components: one similar to a cost-of-living increase, and one based on the individual’s performance review. Performance pay may be in the form of a permanent pay increase and/or a one-time performance bonus.
For information on how position and compensation correlate, applicants can view our 2023 pay tables (PDF, 14 pages).
Counseling Services provides free, confidential, short-term counseling for all GAO employees about work-related and personal issues, and regularly brings in outside experts to speak on a variety of topics. GAO employees also have access to an information and referral service that operates 24/7 to help employees find resources to help them manage their careers and lives. Meditation rooms are also provided for use in GAO’s Headquarters building.
Flex Schedules and Telework
With approved flex schedules, employees can adjust their work time—during core business hours—around their personal lives.
With approved telework schedules, most employees can work from their homes or from other approved locations for some portion of their work week. Participation in this program is voluntary and subject to management approval. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telework remains an option for all employees.
Flexible Spending Accounts
As an employee, you can elect to participate in the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS). FSAFEDS allows employees to save money by paying eligible out-of-pocket medical/health care and dependent care expenses using pre-tax dollars.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) is designed for federal employees and their families. FEHBP offers federal employees, retirees, and their survivors a wide selection of health, dental, and vision plans from all the major health insurers.
GAO observes 11 federal holidays each year:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King’s Birthday
- Presidents Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Learning and Professional Development
GAO is committed to providing the best possible training and development for all of its employees through internal classes and programs, on-the-job training and coaching, mentoring, and external learning courses. We maintain a modern training facility with rooms to conduct live, in-person and virtual training.
Paid vacation leave is determined by the length of the employee’s federal service. Employees can carry over 30 days of vacation leave to the next leave year. Paid sick leave accrues at the same rate for all employees, with no limit on carrying it over from year to year.
Annual Vacation and Sick Leave Table
0-3 years of federal service
3-15 years of federal service
15+ years of federal service
13 days of vacation leave/year
20 days of vacation leave/year
26 days of vacation leave/year
13 days of sick leave/year
13 days of sick leave/year
13 days of sick leave/year
There are also provisions for paid or unpaid leave to cover absences for maternity and paternity leave, military obligations, jury duty, donating blood, and voting. GAO is covered by the provisions in the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Federal Employees Family Friendly Leave Act, and the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act of 2019.
The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) is the largest group life insurance program in the world. FEGLI provides group term life insurance and most federal employees are eligible for coverage.
The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) guarantees each employee a specific monthly payment based on the employee's age, length of creditable service, and "high three" average salary. FERS employees also pay Social Security taxes and may participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement saving and investment plan that offers the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans.
Student Loan Repayment Program
Many newly hired employees are eligible to participate in this program, which allows GAO to repay lenders for federal student loans when recipients sign employment service agreements to remain at GAO for 3 years.
The Transit Benefit program was created to encourage commuters to use public transportation in an effort to reduce congestion and pollution in America’s cities. GAO helps subsidize transit costs for its employees if they take mass transportation or carpool to any of its office locations.