Department of Commerce (31 - 40 of 41 items) in Past Year
SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Companies Face Continuing Challenges in Determining Whether Their Conflict Minerals Benefit Armed Groups
GAO-16-805: Published: Aug 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2016.
As a result of country-of-origin inquiries, an estimated 19 percent more companies that filed a specialized disclosure form (Form SD) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported that they knew or had reason to believe they knew the source of the conflict minerals in their products in 2015 than in 2014, based on a generalizable sample of filings GAO reviewed. However, after an estima...
Intellectual Property: Patent Office Should Define Quality, Reassess Incentives, and Improve Clarity
GAO-16-490: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2016.
GAO found that district court filings of new patent infringement lawsuits increased from about 2,000 in 2007 to more than 5,000 in 2015, while the number of defendants named in these lawsuits increased from 5,000 to 8,000 over the same period. In 2007, about 20 percent of all defendants named in new patent infringement lawsuits were sued in the Eastern District of Texas, and by 2015 this had risen...
Intellectual Property: Patent Office Should Strengthen Search Capabilities and Better Monitor Examiners' Work
GAO-16-479: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2016.
Experts and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examiners described a variety of challenges in identifying information relevant to a claimed invention—or “prior art”—that can affect examiners' ability to complete a thorough prior art search in the time allotted and their confidence in their search efforts. These challenges include, among others, the quantity and availability of prior...
Defense Weather Satellites: DOD Faces Acquisition Challenges for Addressing Capability Needs
GAO-16-769T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
GAO found in March 2016 that the Department of Defense (DOD), in conducting a requirements review and Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) from 2012 to 2014, generally performed a thorough review for identifying capability gaps in meteorological and oceanographic data—also referred to as weather data—that needed to be met and determining the operational benefit of satisfying these gaps.In doing so,...
Polar Satellites: NOAA Faces Challenges and Uncertainties that Could Affect the Availability of Critical Weather Data
GAO-16-773T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
As highlighted in a May 2016 report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has continued to make progress in developing the JPSS-1 satellite for a March 2017 launch. However, the program has experienced technical challenges which have resulted in delays in interim milestones. In addition, NOAA faces the potential for a near-term ga...
Federal Real Property: Actions Needed to Enhance Information on and Coordination among Federal Entities with Leasing Authority
GAO-16-648: Published: Jul 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2016.
There is no comprehensive list of federal entities with independent leasing authority. The Federal Real Property Council (FRPC), chaired by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), was established in 2004 through executive order to coordinate and share leading practices in real property management among federal agencies covered by the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990. The General Services Ad...
2020 Census: Census Bureau Needs to Improve Its Life-Cycle Cost Estimating Process
GAO-16-628: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2016.
Since 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) has taken significant steps to improve its capacity to carry out an effective cost estimate; however, its October 2015 cost estimate for the 2020 Census does not fully reflect characteristics of a high-quality estimate and cannot be considered reliable. To reflect these characteristics, an organization must meet or substantially meet four best practices...
Digital Service Programs: Assessing Results and Coordinating with Chief Information Officers Can Improve Delivery of Federal Projects
GAO-16-733T: Published: Jun 10, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2016.
In a draft report, GAO determined that the General Service Administration's (GSA) 18F and Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) U.S. Digital Service (USDS) have provided a variety of services to agencies supporting their information technology (IT) efforts. Specifically, 18F staff helped 18 agencies with 32 projects and generally provided development and consulting services, including software d...
Information Technology: Management of Interdependencies between Programs Supporting 2020 Census
GAO-16-723T: Published: Jun 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2016.
The 2020 Census program is heavily dependent upon the Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing (CEDCAP) program to deliver the key systems needed to support the 2020 Census redesign. However, GAO's preliminary findings showed that while the two programs have taken steps to coordinate their schedules, risks, and requirements, they lacked effective processes for managing their interdependenc...
Information Technology: Federal Agencies Need to Address Aging Legacy Systems
GAO-16-468: Published: May 25, 2016. Publicly Released: May 25, 2016.
The federal government spent about 75 percent of the total amount budgeted for information technology (IT) for fiscal year 2015 on operations and maintenance (O&M) investments. Such spending has increased over the past 7 fiscal years, which has resulted in a $7.3 billion decline from fiscal years 2010 to 2017 in development, modernization, and enhancement activities.Total Federal IT Spending by Ty...