Decisions & FAQs

Occasionally, GAO issues other legal decisions pursuant to statutory mandates, upon congressional request, or stemming from our audit work.

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How are Comptroller General decisions and opinions identified?

Comptroller General decisions and opinions are identified by a B-number and date. Some decisions predating 1995 were published in Decisions of the Comptroller General of the United States. Those decisions have B-numbers but are generally identified by volume, page number, and the year the decision was issued (e.g., 73 Comp. Gen. 77 (1994)). At the beginning of each volume is a "Table of Decision Numbers" cross-referencing B-numbers to the pages in that volume. See Bid Protest FAQs and Appropriation Law FAQs for more details.

When are decisions and opinions made public?

Generally, our decisions and opinions are publicly released but not always on the same day they are decided. If decisions and opinions contain protected information, we must create redacted versions for the public that omit protected information. See 4 C.F.R. § 21.12 (Distribution of decisions). We typically publicly release versions 2 to 3 weeks after the decision date. See How can I keep up-to-date on new Comptroller General decisions? for ways to get notified whenever we make a decision publicly available.

For more details on the timing of our decisions and opinions, see:
Procedures and Practices for Legal Decisions and Opinions GAO-06-1064SP, September 5, 2006

How can I keep up-to-date on new Comptroller General decisions?

Three ways: Subscribe to daily e-mail updates. You’ll get an e-mail every day announcing decisions released publicly that day. Subscribe to any of our Legal Products feeds. These feeds contain summaries of decisions as and opinions when they are made public and include links to the complete content. Follow us on Twitter. We tweet every decision when it is made public.

Where can I get information about claims related to civilian or military pay, travel, transportation and other allowances?

GAO no longer adjudicates these claims. In the mid-1990s, Congress enacted two laws that transferred several functions from GAO to other government agencies. You can learn more about these functions at Functions Transferred to the Executive Branch.

Can I access laws, pending bills in Congress, federal or state case law, regulations, or executive orders through GAO's website?

No. They can be found on the Government Printing Office’s website, pertinent agency websites, and legal databases such as Lexis and Westlaw.

Can I shepardize decisions, opinions, or bid protests on GAO's website?

No, but databases such as Lexis and Westlaw have this capability.

For other questions about GAO legal products, e-mail