GAO joins the web 2.0/Egov club

PRESS RELEASE GAO Enlists New Technologies to Report Its Findings

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 7, 2009) — The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), known as the “investigative arm of Congress,” has established a presence on YouTube and Twitter to help users of such sites stay informed about GAO’s work. “GAO is always exploring ways to use innovative practices and emerging technologies to carry out its mission,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. “While we’ve made extensive use of the Internet for some time, posting material on YouTube and Twitter offers new possibilities to inform people about our efforts to promote accountability and transparency in federal programs and operations.”

GAO has posted many of its videos, including those from its Recovery Act and Transition web pages, on the YouTube channel, a free online video sharing service increasingly used by federal agencies as a communication tool. The main featured video is “More Than Numbers,” a recruitment video based on news coverage of GAO’s work. GAO is also providing links back to the underlying reports or testimony to assist viewers interested in reading more about the agency’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations. To find GAO’s YouTube channel visit http://www.youtube.com/user/usgao.

Through its Twitter account, GAO alerts individuals when a GAO product is issued. The agency has created two Twitter feeds, one for reports and testimony (https://twitter.com/usgao) and another for legal products (https://twitter.com/usgaolegal). To follow GAO work, users can go to one of these links, set up their own Twitter account, and then automatically receive notices whenever GAO releases a product.

More than 50 federal agencies and several members of Congress now use Twitter, a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send and read each others’ updates, as part of their public outreach efforts.
For more information, contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs, at (202) 512-4800.

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That’s great news. I’ve always thought GAO was one of the perfect agencies for social media. As they really need to push out their great reports and highlight their great work. They should really have a top-notch blog as well. But glad they are moving forward.