31 U.S.C. § 716 Availability of Information and Inspection of Records

LibraryUnited States Statutes
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-34 (published on www.congress.gov on 12/26/2023), except for [P. L. 118-31]
Citation31 U.S.C. § 716


(1) The Comptroller General is authorized to obtain such agency records as the Comptroller General requires to discharge the duties of the Comptroller General (including audit, evaluation, and investigative duties), including through the bringing of civil actions under this section. In reviewing a civil action under this section, the court shall recognize the continuing force and effect of the authorization in the preceding sentence until such time as the authorization is repealed pursuant to law.

(2) Each agency shall give the Comptroller General information the Comptroller General requires about the duties, powers, activities, organization, and financial transactions of the agency. The Comptroller General may inspect an agency record to get the information. This subsection does not apply to expenditures made under section 3524 or 3526(e) of this title.


(1) When an agency record is not made available to the Comptroller General within a reasonable time, the Comptroller General may make a written request to the head of the agency. The request shall state the authority for inspecting the records and the reason for the inspection. The head of the agency has 20 days after receiving the request to respond. The response shall describe the record withheld and the reason the record is being withheld. If the Comptroller General is not given an opportunity to inspect the record within the 20-day period, the Comptroller General may file a report with the President, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Attorney General, the head of the agency, and Congress.

(2) Through an attorney the Comptroller General designates in writing, the Comptroller General may bring a civil action in the district court of the United States for the District of Columbia to require the head of the agency to produce a record-

(A) after 20 days after a report is filed under paragraph (1) of this subsection; and

(B) subject to subsection (d) of this section.

(3) The Attorney General may represent the head of the agency. The court may punish a failure to obey an order of the court under this subsection as a contempt of court.


(1) Subject to subsection (d) of this section, the Comptroller General may subpena a record of a person not in the United States Government when the record is not made available to the Comptroller General to which the Comptroller General has access by law or by agreement of that person from whom access is sought. A subpena shall identify the record and the authority for the inspection and may be issued by the Comptroller General. The Comptroller General may have an individual serve a subpena under this subsection by delivering a copy to the person named in the subpena or by mailing a copy of the subpena by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the residence or principal place of business of the person. Proof of service is shown by a verified return by the individual serving the subpena that states how the subpena was served or by the return receipt signed by the person served.

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