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Released on September 25, 2017
Coast Guard: Status of Polar Icebreaking Fleet Capability and Recapitalization Plan
GAO-17-698R: Published: Sep 25, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2017.
Various responsibilities drive the Coast Guard's determination of its polar icebreaking mission requirements, and the Coast Guard has been unable to address all polar icebreaking requests since 2010. For example, the Coast Guard reported fulfilling 78 percent (25 of 32) of U.S. government agency requests for polar icebreaking services during fiscal year 2010 through 2016. Coast Guard officials cit...
Small Business Contracting: Actions Needed to Demonstrate and Better Review Compliance with Select Requirements for Small Business Advocates[back to top]
GAO-17-675: Published: Aug 25, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2017.
Demonstrated compliance with selected section 15(k) requirements for the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) varied across the 24 agencies GAO surveyed. Five agencies demonstrated compliance with all the requirements, four agencies demonstrated compliance with all but one requirement, and 15 agencies did not demonstrate compliance with two or more requirements. Examples...
Released on September 22, 2017
Veterans Health Care: Additional Actions Could Further Improve Policy Management[back to top]
GAO-17-748: Published: Sep 22, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2017.
How does the Veterans Health Administration ensure that its 170 medical centers are providing timely, high-quality care to veterans? VHA uses national policies and guidance that cover all aspects of health care delivery, such as purchasing community care and scheduling outpatient appointments. We looked at how VHA defines and communicates its national policy and guidance and collects information...
Released on September 21, 2017
Telecommunications: Agencies Need to Apply Transition Planning Practices to Reduce Potential Delays and Added Costs[back to top]
GAO-17-464: Published: Sep 21, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2017.
The General Services Administration's (GSA's) transition guidance to agencies addressed roughly half of its previously identified lessons learned. GSA identified 35 lessons learned from previous telecommunications contract transitions that identify actions that agencies should take. In transition guidance released to agencies, GSA fully addressed 17 of the 35 lessons. Two lessons from previous tra...
Released on September 20, 2017
Budget Issues: Budget Uncertainty and Disruptions Affect Timing of Agency Spending
GAO-17-807T: Published: Sep 20, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2017.
When Congress funds federal agencies, it includes certain conditions for when and how agencies can use this money. As funds approach the end of their period of availability (usually at the end of the fiscal year), a "use-it or lose-it" mentality can set in among agencies, creating an incentive to rush to obligate. However, higher obligations at the end of a year do not necessarily indicate a prob...
Commercial Aviation: Information on Airline Fees for Optional Services
GAO-17-756: Published: Sep 20, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2017.
Since 2010, selected U.S. airlines have introduced a variety of new fees for optional services and increased some existing fees. For example, each of the 11 U.S. airlines that GAO examined introduced fees for “preferred” seating, which may include additional legroom or a seat closer to the front of the economy cabin. Some of these airlines have also introduced new fees for other optional servi...
Higher Education: Education Should Address Oversight and Communication Gaps in Its Monitoring of the Financial Condition of Schools
GAO-17-555: Published: Aug 21, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2017.
The Department of Education (Education) reviews the annual audits of postsecondary schools to assess compliance with financial responsibility standards for schools that participate in federal student aid programs and increases its oversight of schools that do not meet these standards. In school year 2014-15, Education reviews found that about 450 of approximately 6,000 schools that participate in...
Investment Management: Key Practices Could Provide More Options for Federal Entities and Opportunities for Minority- and Women-Owned Asset Managers[back to top]
GAO-17-726: Published: Sep 13, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2017.
According to asset managers and industry associations with which GAO spoke, minority- and women-owned (MWO) asset managers face challenges when competing for investment management opportunities with institutional investors, such as retirement plans and foundations. For example, institutional investors and their consultants often prefer to contract with large asset managers with brand recognition a...
Released on September 19, 2017
Broadband: Additional Stakeholder Input Could Inform FCC Actions to Promote Competition
GAO-17-742: Published: Sep 19, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2017.
Selected experts and stakeholders told GAO that infrastructure costs and other factors can limit broadband deployment and the extent of broadband competition. Factors these individuals identified included providers' costs to deploy antennas, install wires or cables, and obtain permits to access existing infrastructure. Such infrastructure includes utility poles needed for deploying wired component...
Employee Relocation: VA Strengthened Appraised Value Offer's Controls, but Can Improve Efforts to Track Effects on Retention and Recruitment[back to top]
GAO-17-700: Published: Sep 19, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2017.
Home sale assistance allows federal agencies to facilitate the sale of employees' homes if their relocation is in the government's interest. Veterans Affairs suspended a type of home sale assistance in 2015 after two employees abused it for personal gain. In 2017, VA reinstated this assistance with strengthened safeguards. For example, VA's policies now state that a relocating employee's particip...