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Released on October 23, 2017
Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure: Information on Identified Needs, Planning for Future Conditions, and Coordination of Project Funding
GAO-17-559: Published: Sep 20, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 23, 2017.
EPA estimates that addressing the nation's water infrastructure needs will take about $655 billion over the next 20 years. We looked at programs in 8 federal agencies that help communities plan for these needs, or provide funding to help address them. For example, the Bureau of Reclamation has helped some communities assess their future water supply and demand. And the EPA and the U.S. Department...
Low-Wage Workers: Poverty and Use of Selected Federal Social Safety Net Programs Persist among Working Families[back to top]
GAO-17-677: Published: Sep 22, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 23, 2017.
According to GAO's analysis of data in the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), on average, low-wage workers worked fewer hours per week, were more highly concentrated in a few industries and occupations, and had lower educational attainment than workers earning hourly wages above $16 in each year GAO reviewed—1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2016. Their percentage of the U.S. workfo...
Released on October 20, 2017
DOD Financial Management: Additional Actions Needed to Complete the Army's Analyses of Unsupported Accounting Entries for Its General Fund[back to top]
GAO-18-27: Published: Oct 20, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2017.
Since February 2015, the Journal Voucher Working Group (Working Group), which is comprised of Department of the Army (Army) and Defense Finance and Accounting Service personnel, has been actively working toward implementing new processes to address inadequate support for journal vouchers (JV) in the Army's general fund. JVs are accounting entries manually entered or system generated to record corr...
Released on October 19, 2017
International Food Assistance: Cargo Preference Increased Food Aid Shipping Cost; Benefits Remain Unclear
GAO-18-193T: Published: Oct 19, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 2017.
"Cargo preference" laws require agencies to ship half of U.S. food aid to a given geographic area on U.S. ships. The intent is to ensure a merchant marine—both ships and mariners—will be available to help the military when needed. We testified that cargo preference increased food aid costs by $107 million over about 3 years, and that its effect on mariner availability was unclear. Also, witho...
NASA Human Space Exploration: Integration Approach Presents Challenges to Oversight and Independence
GAO-18-28: Published: Oct 19, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 2017.
NASA is developing 3 programs to put astronauts into space—the Orion crew vehicle, Space Launch System, and Exploration Ground Systems. All 3 programs must work together. We found challenges in NASA's approach to integrating these programs. For example, the technical authorities for engineering and safety also have program roles that include managing resources. When technical authorities must a...
Veterans Health Administration: Better Data and Evaluation Could Help Improve Physician Staffing, Recruitment, and Retention Strategies[back to top]
GAO-18-124: Published: Oct 19, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 2017.
Does the Veterans Health Administration have enough doctors to keep up with veterans' growing health care needs? It can't be sure. VHA knows the number of doctors it employs (over 11,000), but it doesn’t know how many contract physicians and physician trainees (e.g., medical residents) are used to meet its staffing needs. And although VHA uses multiple strategies to support the hiring and reten...
Released on October 18, 2017
Drinking Water: DOD Has Acted on Some Emerging Contaminants but Should Improve Internal Reporting on Regulatory Compliance
GAO-18-78: Published: Oct 18, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 2017.
DOD and EPA have found chemicals in drinking water at or near military installations that may cause cancer and other health issues. Some of these chemicals can be found in firefighting foam and rocket propellants. DOD has taken steps to limit individuals' exposure to some chemicals, including providing alternative drinking water supplies and installing water treatment systems. Still, DOD's incomp...
Personal Firearms: Programs that Promote Safe Storage and Research on Their Effectiveness
GAO-17-665: Published: Sep 19, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 2017.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that kids were involved in about 1,500 of the more than 36,000 gun-related deaths in 2015 about 61% of gun deaths across all ages were suicides By some estimates, there are guns in about a third of U.S. homes. We identified 16 public or nonprofit programs that promote safe gun storage to help keep those guns away from kids and pe...
The Nation's Retirement System: A Comprehensive Re-evaluation Is Needed to Better Promote Future Retirement Security[back to top]
GAO-18-111SP: Published: Oct 18, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 2017.
The U.S. retirement system, and the workers and retirees it was designed to help, face major challenges. Traditional pensions have become much less common, and individuals are increasingly responsible for planning and managing their own retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k) plans. Yet research shows that many households are ill-equipped for this task and have little or no retirement savings...
Released on October 17, 2017
TSA Modernization: Use of Sound Program Management and Oversight Practices Is Needed to Avoid Repeating Past Problems[back to top]
GAO-18-46: Published: Oct 17, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2017.
The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) new strategy for the Technology Infrastructure Modernization (TIM) program includes using Agile software development, but the program only fully implemented two of six leading practices necessary to ensure successful Agile adoption. Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA leadership fully committed to adopt Agile and TSA pr...