Skip Navigation Links

What We Do

The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer provides the operations infrastructure and support necessary to help your elected officials get things done. We’re behind the scenes installing furniture and laying fiber optic cable in their Washington, D.C., offices. We manage employee payroll and benefits, child care and parking, as well as ensure easy access to delicious hot meals for all Members of Congress, staff and visitors to the House. Have you ever heard a radio address by your Representative? Chances are it was recorded in our studio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to questions we often get at the CAO:

Where can I purchase House of Representatives gift items, such as the Congressional holiday ornament?

The House Gift Shop, a service of the CAO located in B-218 Longworth House Office Building, carries all your favorite Congressional collector’s items, including the yearly Congressional holiday ornament. The Gift Shop also carries cards, men’s and women’s attire, cufflinks, hats, scarves and specialized gift items that would make perfect presents for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays and other holidays. The Gift Shop is open Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and can be reached at 202-226-5362.

How can I identify/contact my Representative?

The Write Your Representative service, developed by the CAO, is a public resource for identifying and contacting elected Representatives.

How can I get a staff-led tour of the U.S. Capitol?

The Capitol Guide Service conducts free guided tours of the U.S. Capitol Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours last approximately 30-40 minutes.

Free tickets for Capitol tours are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Capitol Guide Service kiosk, located on the southwest side of the Capitol near the intersection of First Street, SW, and Independence Avenue. Ticket distribution begins at 9:00 a.m. daily.

See the Capitol Guide Service Web site: for more information or call 202-225-6827.

How can I request a tour of the White House?

To request a tour of the White House, contact your Member of Congress up to six months in advance of your planned visit date. Self-guided, free public tours of the White House are available from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (excluding federal holidays), for groups of 10 or more people. For more detailed information, call the 24-hour White House tour line at 202-456-7041 or visit the White House’s Web site:  Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.

How can I arrange for an American flag to be flown over the Capitol?

The United States Capitol Flag Program, coordinated by the Architect of the Capitol and the CAO’s House Office Supply Store, allows constituents to purchase flags through their Member of Congress to be flown over the Capitol.

Flags are flown daily year-round, weather permitting, excluding Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. After the flag is flown over the Capitol, a keepsake Certificate of Authenticity will be issued by the Architect of the Capitol.

To purchase a flag to be flown over the capitol, contact your Member of Congress. For more detailed information, visit the Architect of the Capitol’s Web site: