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Government Operations (71 - 80 of 8,518 items)
DATA Act: Initial Observations on Technical Implementation
GAO-16-824R: Published: Aug 3, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 3, 2016.
GAO found that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) have taken steps to assure the quality of the federal spending data that will be made available to the public under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act). These steps include creating a broker system to (1) check that submitted data follow a standardized format that w...
Federal Telework: Better Guidance Could Help Agencies Calculate Benefits and Costs
GAO-16-551: Published: Jul 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2016.
Benefits associated with telework programs include continuity of operations and reduced employee absences, based on GAO's literature review and the experiences of six selected agencies. The benefits most frequently cited by the selected agencies—the Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), General Services Administra...
DATA ACT: Improvements Needed in Reviewing Agency Implementation Plans and Monitoring Progress
GAO-16-698: Published: Jul 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2016.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) have not designed and implemented controls or fully documented processes related to the review and use of agency implementation plans for the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act). These controls and processes are to be used for reviewing agencies' implementation plans and monitoring ag...
Federal Research Grants: Opportunities Remain for Agencies to Streamline Administrative Requirements
GAO-16-573: Published: Jun 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2016.
Administrative requirements for federal research grants include (1) Office of Management and Budget (OMB) government-wide grant requirements for protecting against waste, fraud, and abuse of funds and (2) agency-specific requirements generally for promoting the quality and effectiveness of federally funded research. For example, OMB requires grantees to maintain records sufficient to detail the hi...
Federal Travel: Opportunities Exist to Improve Data and Information Sharing
GAO-16-657: Published: Jul 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2016.
The Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Veterans Affairs, the six federal agencies with the largest travel spending in fiscal year 2015, pursued a variety of cost-saving efforts that generally aligned with regulations and guidance issued in either Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) amendments or General Services Administration (GSA) travel bulletins from fiscal...
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...
Intellectual Property: Survey of U.S. Patent Examiners (GAO-16-478SP, June 2016), an E-supplement to GAO-16-479 and GAO-16-490
GAO-16-478SP: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2016.
This is an e-supplement to GAO-16-479 and GAO-16-490. It provides the results of closed-ended questions from GAO's web-based survey of a stratified random sample of 3,336 eligible patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as of May 2015. The survey was fielded from August to November 2015, and its questions measured examiners' perceptions of (1) PTO's approach to patent qualit...
Department of Energy: Whistleblower Protections Need Strengthening
GAO-16-618: Published: Jul 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2016.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has used a combination of independent reviews and contractor self-assessments to evaluate the openness of the environment for raising safety and other concerns. The independent reviews, which were methodologically sound and consistently applied, revealed problems with the environment for raising concerns. In contrast, many self-assessments used flawed and inconsisten...
Credit Programs: Key Agencies Should Better Document Procedures for Estimating Subsidy Costs
GAO-16-269: Published: Jul 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 2016.
The Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 requires agencies to estimate the cost to the government of extending or guaranteeing credit. This cost, referred to as subsidy cost, equals the net present value of estimated cash flows from the government (e.g., loan disbursements and claim payments to lenders) minus estimated cash flows to the government (e.g., loan repayments, interest payments, fees, and...