Privacy and Other Site Policies

GAO Privacy and Security Notification

This World Wide Web site is provided as a public service by the Government Accountability Office. The information contained on this site is public information. It may be freely distributed or copied.

For site-management purposes, we collect statistical information. GAO uses this information to determine interest in various areas of the site and to monitor system performance. We do not collect personally identifying information or attempt to identify individual users and their usage patterns. We collect only the following information:

    • The name of the domain from which you access the Internet (e.g.,,, etc.).
    • The date and time you access our site.
    • The Internet address of the web site from which you linked directly to our site or the Internet address of the computer used to link to our site.

Generally, we do not use cookies on this web site. On occasion to make it easier for you to comment on a draft report, to complete a survey, or to navigate the site, we send a session cookie to your computer that is returned only to our server. A session cookie is a small bit of text that is temporarily stored in your computer.

We will not obtain personally identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information. For example, if you send an E-mail message or complete a web form that contains personal information, we may retain your E-mail address and other information that you provide in order to respond to you. That information is temporarily retained and then destroyed in accordance with guidelines of the National Archives and Records Administration. We will not release any personally identifying information, including E-mail addresses, to the public or to private organizations. However, we will honor appropriate legal process seeking such information. You should refer to the Privacy Notice contained on the FraudNET page for the policies that apply to information provided on that site.

GAO uses software to monitor traffic and to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, to cause harm, or otherwise to damage this site. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this server are strictly prohibited. Unauthorized use, tampering with or modification of this system -- including supporting hardware or software -- may subject the violator to criminal and civil penalties. In the event of unauthorized intrusion, all relevant information regarding possible violation of law may be provided to law enforcement officials.

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