Legal Decisions

Legal Decisions, Opinions, and Resources

The Comptroller General, head of the Government Accountability Office, issues legal decisions and legal opinions on appropriations law, bid protests, and other issues of federal law. The Comptroller General is also required by statute to report to congressional committees about certain federal vacancies and on major rules proposed by federal agencies. The Office of General Counsel is the GAO office responsible for carrying out these functions and issuing decisions, opinions, and reports.

Comptroller General Decisions and Opinions. Decisions and opinions issued on various topics, such as appropriations law, bid protests, and other areas of federal law.

Bid Protests. GAO decisions addressing protests filed by companies seeking federal contracts that believe governments contract have been, or are about to be, awarded in violation of the laws and regulations that govern contracting with the federal government. Other information on the bid protest function and contacts is also included.

The Red Book. An appropriations law resource, officially entitled Principles of Federal Appropriations Law including its annual update. The Red Book is a complete reference to federal court and Comptroller General case law on appropriations. E-mail Red Book questions.

Appropriations Law Resources. Decisions and opinions on appropriations issues, A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process and information on GAO's appropriations law training and annual forums.

Antideficiency Act Reports. Background on the Antideficiency Act (ADA), how agencies are to submit copies of ADA reports to the Comptroller General, and information drawn from agencies’ reports of ADA violations.

Contract Appeals Boards. Boards staffed by GAO attorneys to consider appeals of contracting decisions made by various legislative branch agencies, primarily the Government Printing Office and the Architect of the Capitol.

Federal Vacancies Act Reports. Reports tracking the temporary filling of vacant executive agency positions that require presidential appointment with Senate confirmation.

Congressional Review Act Reports. Reports summarizing and assessing procedural requirements for the promulgation of major rules by federal agencies.