In a memo to staff, CBO’s founding director, Alice Rivlin, emphasized the importance that the agency's work is objective, impartial, and nonpartisan.

CBO takes many steps to ensure that its work is objective, impartial, and nonpartisan. The agency enforces strict rules that prevent employees from having financial conflicts of interest and that limit their political activities. CBO encourages open discussion of analytic issues under consideration. The agency's analysts carefully review relevant research and examine data collected by government agencies and private organizations.

All of the agency's products undergo rigorous review by people at different levels of the organization and are developed within an analytical framework that requires consistency among those products. CBO's projections of spending and revenues need to be consistent with its economic projections (and vice versa). Cost estimates and analytic reports must be consistent with the budget and economic projections. That framework for developing information that is interdependent and based on a common set of assumptions helps ensure that the agency's cost estimates and other assessments are objective and analytically consistent.

Furthermore, CBO's reports are reviewed by outside experts who specialize in the topic at hand. The agency also explains the basis of its findings so that outside analysts can understand the results and examine the methods used.

The outside experts who consult with CBO represent a variety of perspectives and include professors, think-tank analysts, representatives of industry groups, other private-sector experts, and federal, state, and local government employees. In choosing members of its panels of advisers and in weighing their input, CBO follows the long-standing practice of considering whether members and potential members are engaged in substantial political activity or have significant financial interests that might influence, or might reasonably appear to influence, their perspective on the topics about which CBO is seeking their advice. Although the agency draws on many outside experts, its findings are based on its own judgments, and CBO is solely responsible for them.

Finally, CBO makes no policy recommendations, because choices about public policy inevitably involve value judgments that the agency does not and should not make.