Internal controls (21 - 30 of 50 items) in Past Year
Information Technology: Better Management of Interdependencies between Programs Supporting 2020 Census Is Needed
GAO-16-623: Published: Aug 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016.
The three selected Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing (CEDCAP) projects (of 12 total) in GAO's review partially met best practices for monitoring and controlling. For example, the projects fully met the best practice of establishing a process for taking corrective actions if issues are identified, but they did not fully meet the practice of identifying significant performance deviati...
Performance.gov: Long-Term Strategy Needed to Improve Website Usability
GAO-16-693: Published: Aug 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2016.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), General Services Administration (GSA), and the Performance Improvement Council (PIC) took several steps to improve the usefulness of Performance.gov, a website intended to serve as the public window to the federal government's goals and performance. However, their actions do not fully meet selected Digitalgov.gov requirements for federal websites (which a...
Federal Workforce: Opportunities Exist to Improve Data on Selected Groups of Special Government Employees
GAO-16-548: Published: Jul 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 2016.
Federal agencies made limited use of special government employees (SGE) not serving on federal boards. As of December 2014, approximately 3 percent of SGEs (1,138 of 40,424) were working as experts or consultants and not serving on federal boards, according to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). Over a 10-year period (2005 to 2014), GAO found that agencies used an annual average of approximatel...
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 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...