High-Risk Series:

Recommendations Need to be Implemented

HR-99-2R: Published: Apr 12, 1999. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) provided a listing of its open recommendations to help solve problems in areas it has designated as high risk; (2) provided references to the source and date of the recommendations and the status of agency actions to implement GAO's suggestions; and (3) identified any legislative recommendations that could further assist in fully addressing these high-risk problems.

GAO noted that: (1) GAO's most recent high risk update indicates that there were more than 700 open recommendations in the 26 areas in GAO's latest High Risk Series; (2) for those areas with numerous open recommendations, GAO focused on those recommendations that are most important to solving the high-risk problem, and briefly summarized the essence of the other recommendations; (3) for many recommendations, agencies have indicated their agreement and intent to implement; (4) in some cases, actions are under way and progress is being made, while in others, implementation has not yet begun; (5) in some instances, agencies disagreed with GAO's recommendations and do not plan to take action; (6) to maximize the utility of the information, GAO has kept its comments on agency actions brief; (7) while none of the recommendations listed call for legislation, Congress has enacted a number of legislative initiatives over the years aimed at resolving problems in high-risk areas such as Medicare, Farm Loan Programs, and Asset Forfeiture Programs; (8) more broadly, Congress has put in place a statutory framework to address the kinds of recurring problems contributing to high-risk issues and to instill performance-based management into federal agencies; (9) this framework includes the Chief Financial Officers Act and related financial management legislation, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993; and (10) also, Congress is considering legislation that would deal with the Supplemental Security Income high-risk area.

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