Investigators Guide to Sources of Information


This 1997 Investigators' Guide to Sources of Information is published as a service to the investigative community by GAO's Office of Special Investigations. It is intended to be a useful investigative tool for identifying sources of information about people, property, business, and finance. This year's guide is organized so that all of the information about a single source is located in a single definitive category. An index has been added to locate sources of information about a topic that may be discussed in one or more places in the guide. Finally, to make the guide useful in an increasingly electronic environment, we have added Internet addresses wherever possible and a chapter on how to use the Internet to gather information valuable to the investigative process.

Additionally, for the first time, this year's guide will be accessible electronically from GAO's home page ( ) by first selecting "Special Publications and Software" and then "Investigators' Guide to Sources of Information (GAO/OSI-97-2)." From this screen, certain sections of the report are interactive, enabling the investigator to initiate national and international links to a wide range of organizations. These links can be established by "clicking on" either an underlined and highlighted agency name or a specific Internet address in the guide.

The information provided in this guide is current as of the date of publication. As with the two previous editions of the guide, we request your assistance in updating and improving the guide periodically. Please submit any updates or suggestions on how the guide can better meet users' needs directly to us by e-mail at or by fax at (202) 371-2442. You may also write to us at the Office of Special Investigations, U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20548.

Donald J. Wheeler
Acting Director

This document was last updated April 20, 1997