All Topics » Business Regulation and Consumer Protection
Business Regulation and Consumer Protection (31 - 40 of 1,302 items)
Broadband: Intended Outcomes and Effectiveness of Efforts to Address Adoption Barriers Are Unclear
GAO-15-473: Published: Jun 2, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2015.
Home broadband adoption can provide a number of social and economic benefits, according to literature from academic, government, and other research sources and interviews GAO held with researchers, consumer and industry organizations, and government officials. For example, broadband provides access to employment opportunities by providing the means to search and apply for jobs and participate in o...
Nutrition Assistance: Actions Needed to Address Potential Online Sales of Infant Formula
GAO-15-605T: Published: May 19, 2015. Publicly Released: May 19, 2015.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not have data to determine the national extent of online sales of infant formula provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Nevertheless, state WIC officials and GAO's own limited monitoring suggest that some WIC participants have offered formula for sale online. Of the officials we spoke with in 12...
Broadband Performance: Additional Actions Could Help FCC Evaluate Its Efforts to Inform Consumers
GAO-15-363: Published: Apr 17, 2015. Publicly Released: May 15, 2015.
Consumers can access broadband performance information from several sources, including Internet service providers (ISP), online speed tests, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); however, the information has some limitations. For example:ISP information: FCC's transparency rule requires ISPs to disclose broadband performance information, but ISPs' disclosures vary, and some stakeholder...
Small Business Research Programs: Challenges Remain in Meeting Spending and Reporting Requirements
GAO-15-358: Published: Apr 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2015.
The Small Business Administration's (SBA) ability to fully determine compliance with spending requirements for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for fiscal year 2013 is limited because most agencies submitted incorrect data. Nevertheless, analyzing agency data submitted to SBA suggests that 9 of the 11 agencies participating in the...
Broadcast Exclusivity Rules: Effects of Elimination Would Depend on Other Federal Actions and Industry Response
GAO-15-441: Published: Apr 14, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2015.
Broadcast industry stakeholders that GAO interviewed (including national broadcast networks, such as ABC, and local television stations) report that the exclusivity rules are needed to protect local television stations' contractual rights to be the exclusive providers of network content, such as primetime dramas, and syndicated content, such as game shows, in their markets. These stakeholders repo...
Small Business Contracting: Opportunities Exist to Further Improve HUBZone Oversight
GAO-15-234: Published: Feb 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 12, 2015.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) designates economically distressed areas as Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone), based on demographic data such as unemployment and poverty rates, but lacks an effective way to communicate program changes to small businesses. The designations apply to areas such as nonmetropolitan counties and census tracts and are subject to periodic changes...
Small Business Credit Programs: Treasury Continues to Enhance Performance Measurement and Evaluation but Could Better Communicate and Update Results
GAO-15-105: Published: Dec 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 2014.
The Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) and State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) have continued to support small business lending. According to the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), as of June 30, 2014, SBLF participants had increased their qualified small business lending by $13.5 billion over their aggregate 2010 baseline, and SSBCI participants had used 60 percent of the $1.5 bill...
Small Business Innovation Research: Change in Program Eligibility Has Had Little Impact
GAO-15-68: Published: Nov 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2014.
Two of the 11 agencies participating in the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program—the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Energy (DOE)—opted to open part of their SBIR programs to small businesses that are majority-owned by multiple venture capital or similar firms (majority-owned portfolio companies), allowing s...
Consumer Product Safety Oversight: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Coordination and Increase Efficiencies and Effectiveness
GAO-15-52: Published: Nov 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2014.
GAO identified eight agencies that have direct oversight responsibilities for consumer product safety: the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Department of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,...
Health Care Transparency: Actions Needed to Improve Cost and Quality Information for Consumers
GAO-15-11: Published: Oct 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2014.
Results obtained from two selected private consumer transparency tools GAO reviewed—websites with health cost or quality information comparing different health care providers—show that some providers are paid thousands of dollars more than others for the same service in the same geographic area, regardless of the quality of such services. For example, the cost for maternity care at selected ac...