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GAO on YouTube, Twitter to reach out to public

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The US Government Accountability Office has begun uploading its videos on YouTube and has established feeds on the Twitter service to announce release of new documents and reports to reach out to more people.

The new channels are a recognition of the agency's need to make its content available on the increasingly popular online platforms rather than waiting for people to come to its website, a spokesman said. The YouTube video site is being used as a primary online search tool by growing segment of the public, especially young people, and Twitter is competing with e-mail and texting as a medium for alerts.

“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,” said Gene L. Dodaro, acting comptroller general of the United States and head of GAO.

GAO also provides links to the underlying reports and testimony for viewers interested in more detailed information in the agency's findings. The Twitter feeds alerts users of releases of GAO documents, containing the same information contained on the Web site's daybook and its e-mail alerts. There are two Twitter feeds, one for reports and testimony and another for legal products. Users can go to one of these links to set up accounts and automatically receive notices of new GAO releases.

The General Services Administration has established terms-of-use agreements for agencies using new generation online services such as Twitter and YouTube. GAO is the latest of more than 50 agencies and members of Congress using Twitter. A number of agencies, including the Library of Congress and NASA, are using YouTube.

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