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Government Operations (11 - 20 of 124 items) in Past Year
Government Procurement: United States Reported Opening More Opportunities to Foreign Firms Than Other Countries, but Better Data Are Needed
GAO-17-168: Published: Feb 9, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2017.
Under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), the United States has reported opening more procurement covered by the agreement to foreign firms than have other parties to the agreement. For example, U.S. data for 2010—the most recent available—show that the United States reported $837 billion in GPA-covered procurement. This amount is about twice as large...
Contracting Data Analysis: Assessment of Government-wide Trends
GAO-17-244SP: Published: Mar 9, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 2017.
Federal agencies spent over $430 billion on contracts for goods and services in 2015—almost 40 percent of all discretionary spending. To strengthen contracting practices and increase oversight of government spending, we analyzed contract data and identified overall trends in spending, competition, and contract type. From 2011 to 2015, we found that spending at defense agencies decreased by almo...
2016 Filing Season: IRS Improved Telephone Service but Needs to Better Assist Identity Theft Victims and Prevent Release of Fraudulent Refunds
GAO-17-492T: Published: Mar 8, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 8, 2017.
Taxpayers rely on IRS to help them comply with the tax code and file their taxes. We testified that, although IRS improved its telephone service during the 2016 tax filing season, service year-round was not as good. We also looked at how IRS helps taxpayers who are victims of ID theft refund fraud—wherein fraudsters pose as taxpayers and file returns seeking refunds. IRS has improved service fo...
Foreign Assistance: Agencies Can Improve the Quality and Dissemination of Program Evaluations
GAO-17-316: Published: Mar 3, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2017.
An estimated 73 percent of evaluations completed in fiscal year 2015 by the six U.S. agencies GAO reviewed generally or partially addressed all of the quality criteria GAO identified for evaluation design, implementation, and conclusions (see fig.). Agencies met some elements of the criteria more often than others. For example, approximately 90 percent of all evaluations addressed questions that a...
Contractor Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program: Improvements Needed to Ensure Effective Implementation
GAO-17-227: Published: Mar 2, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2017.
The Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program (pilot program) provides enhanced legal protections to contractor employees who believe that they have experienced reprisal as a result of disclosing certain wrongdoings. Among other enhancements, the act expanded the persons and entities to which a whistleblower could disclose wrongdoing and identified which office within an agency has responsibility fo...
Federal Real Property: Government-wide Building-Disposal Data Generally Reliable, but Opportunities for Further Improvements Exist
GAO-17-321: Published: Mar 2, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2017.
GAO's analysis showed that government-wide data were generally reliable for reporting on real property disposals for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.The General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP) serves as the building inventory database for most of the largest federal agencies. FRPP's data on real property disposals were generally complete, reasonable, and internally...
Revenue Collections and Payments: Treasury Has Used Financial Agents in Evolving Ways but Could Improve Transparency
GAO-17-176: Published: Jan 25, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 24, 2017.
The Department of the Treasury's (Treasury) use of financial agents has evolved as it has moved from paper to electronic transactions in response to changes in technology and new laws. Treasury has a long history of using financial agents to support its core functions of disbursing payments and collecting revenue. Since the 1980s, Treasury has used agents to move from paper to electronic transacti...
Union Activities: VA Should Improve the Way It Tracks the Amount of Official Time Used by Its Employees
GAO-17-412T: Published: Feb 16, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 2017.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) cannot accurately track the amount of work time employees spend on union representational activities, referred to as official time, agency-wide because it does not have a standardized way for its facilities to record and calculate official time. Specifically:Recording official time—VA uses two separate time and attendance systems that capture official time...
High Risk: Federal Management Challenges Related to Indian Energy Resources
GAO-17-434T: Published: Feb 15, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2017.
In three prior reports on Indian energy development, GAO found that the Department of the Interior's (Interior) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has inefficiently managed Indian energy resources and the development process and thereby limited opportunities for tribes and their members to use those resources to create economic benefits and improve the well-being of their communities. GAO has also rep...
High-Risk Series: Progress on Many High-Risk Areas, While Substantial Efforts Needed on Others
GAO-17-317: Published: Feb 15, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2017.
Since GAO's last high-risk update, many of the 32 high-risk areas on the 2015 list have shown solid progress. Twenty-three high-risk areas, or two-thirds of all the areas, have met or partially met all five criteria for removal from the High-Risk List; 15 of these areas fully met at least one criterion. Progress has been possible through the concerted efforts of Congress and leadership and staff i...