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Defense Business Transformation: DOD Should Improve Its Planning with and Performance Monitoring of the Military Departments
GAO-17-9: Published: Dec 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2016.
The Department of Defense (DOD) and the military departments have established roles and responsibilities for senior business transformation positions, such as Chief Management Officers (CMOs) and Deputy CMOs (DCMOs), who are responsible for business transformation efforts—actions to increase the efficiency of or to decrease the costs associated with DOD's business functions, such as acquisitions...
Freight Rail Pricing: Contracts Provide Shippers and Railroads Flexibility, but High Rates Concern Some Shippers
GAO-17-166: Published: Dec 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2016.
While rail contracts and tariffs are similar, contracts offer the flexibility to customize rates and terms to a specific shipper, according to selected stakeholders GAO interviewed. Both contract and tariff rates are based on market factors, such as competition, according to representatives from the four largest U.S. freight railroads. However, they noted that in developing contract rates, a railr...
James Webb Space Telescope: Project Meeting Cost and Schedule Commitments but Continues to Use Reserves to Address Challenges
GAO-17-71: Published: Dec 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2016.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project is still operating within its committed schedule while in its riskiest phase of development, integration and test. Most hardware deliveries and two of five major integration and test efforts have been completed. Two other integration and test efforts are underway, with the final effort to begin in...
Seafood Safety: Status of Issues Related to Catfish Inspection
GAO-17-289T: Published: Dec 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2016.
In reviewing the transfer of responsibility for the inspection of catfish from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), GAO found in May 2012 that FSIS’s then-proposed catfish inspection program would further divide responsibility for overseeing seafood safety and introduce overlap at considerable cost. For exampl...
Army Corps of Engineers: Better Guidance Could Improve Corps' Information on Water Resources Projects Undertaken by Nonfederal Sponsors
GAO-17-97: Published: Dec 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 2016.
Authorities that allow nonfederal sponsors to undertake federal water resources projects, including feasibility studies and construction projects, have been included in various federal statutes since 1968. Until June 2014, when Congress enacted the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, five federal statutory authorities allowed nonfederal sponsors to undertake studies or construction of fede...
Information Technology: Improved Implementation of Reform Law Is Critical to Better Manage Acquisitions and Operations
GAO-17-263T: Published: Dec 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 2016.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and federal agencies have taken steps to improve federal information technology (IT) through a series of initiatives and, as of October 2016, had fully implemented about 46 percent of the approximately 800 related recommendations made by GAO (a 23 percent increase compared to the percentage reported in 2015). However, additional actions are needed.Consolid...
Nursing Homes: Consumers Could Benefit from Improvements to the Nursing Home Compare Website and Five-Star Quality Rating System
GAO-17-61: Published: Nov 18, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 2016.
GAO found that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) collects information on the use of the Nursing Home Compare website, which was developed with the goal of assisting consumers in finding and comparing nursing home quality information. CMS uses three standard mechanisms for collecting website information—website analytics, website user surveys, and website usability tests. These m...
Human Trafficking: State Has Made Improvements in Its Annual Report but Does Not Explicitly Explain Certain Tier Rankings or Changes
GAO-17-56: Published: Dec 5, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 2016.
The Department of State's (State) Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking Office) compiles information on countries' actions to combat human trafficking and recommends tier rankings for the Trafficking in Persons Report but did not post information on waivers within mandated timeframes. The figure below shows the percentage of countries by tier in the 2015 and 2016 repor...
Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex: DOD Needs to Fully Incorporate Best Practices into Future Cost Estimates
GAO-17-29: Published: Nov 3, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 2016.
GAO assessed the cost estimate for the military construction project to consolidate and relocate the Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex (JIAC) at Royal Air Force (RAF) base Croughton and found that it partially met three and minimally met one of the four characteristics of a reliable cost estimate defined by GAO best practices, as shown in the table below. For example, it minimally met the credib...
Telecommunications: Information on Low Power Television, FCC's Spectrum Incentive Auction, and Unlicensed Spectrum Use
GAO-17-135: Published: Dec 5, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 2016.
As of May 2016, there were 2,063 low power television (LPTV) stations and 3,660 translator stations in the United States and its territories, serving diverse communities. However, some LPTV and translator stations may be displaced and need to find a new channel or discontinue operation after the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) ongoing incentive auction of broadcast television spectrum. B...