Major Management Challenges and Program Risks:

Department of Commerce

OCG-99-3: Published: Jan 1, 1999. Publicly Released: Jan 1, 1999.

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As part of its Performance and Accountability Series, GAO provided information on the major management challenges and program risks facing the Department of Commerce.

GAO noted that: (1) the Bureau of the Census faces a number of challenges and uncertainties in its endeavor to conduct an accurate and cost-effective Decennial Census in 2000; (2) taken together, these challenges and uncertainties have led GAO to conclude that the nation faces a high risk of an unsuccessful census in 2000--one that is less accurate and more costly than the 1990 Census; (3) these challenges include developing an accurate address list, securing an acceptable level of public cooperation through outreach and promotion initiatives, and completing field operations effectively and efficiently; (4) in the weather forecasting area, after substantial delays and cost overruns, three of the four planned technology modernization programs are now operational; (5) the final piece of the modernization--the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System--is not scheduled to be deployed until June 1999, and then only with less than full functionality; (6) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continues to own, operate, and plan investments of millions of dollars in its aging in-house fleet of research and survey ships that are used for acquiring marine data; (7) although NOAA has increased its outsourcing with the private sector, universities, and other public entities for these services, it continues to rely heavily on its old, inefficient fleet; (8) continuing congressional oversight of the NOAA fleet is needed to ensure that NOAA is aggressively pursuing cost-effective alternatives for acquiring marine data; (9) in the financial management area, Commerce faces several challenges; (10) audits and the Department's own internal reviews continue to show that: (a) there are numerous areas where Commerce must improve its financial procedures to comply with federal accounting standards and to effectively reconcile and close its books at yearend; and (b) most Commerce bureaus lack effective automated systems to support sound financial management; (11) the Department continues to face significant challenges in implementing new computer systems to meet requirements and make all of its systems year 2000 compliant; (12) the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 provides an opportunity for the Department of Commerce to improve its performance and effectiveness and to enhance congressional and executive branch oversight and decisionmaking for these issues and in other program and mission support areas; and (13) the Department faces an especially formidable challenge in developing and presenting effective and useful Departmentwide strategic and performance plans that both cover all of its disparate activities and meet other criteria.

Below are the reports in this series:

High-Risk Series: An Update HR-99-1, Jan 1, 1999

Performance and Accountability Series:

Major Management Challenges and Risks: An Executive Summary OCG-99-ES, Feb 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: A Governmentwide Perspective OCG-99-1, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Agriculture OCG-99-2, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Commerce OCG-99-3, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Defense OCG-99-4, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Education OCG-99-5, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Energy OCG-99-6, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Health and Human Services OCG-99-7, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Housing and Urban Development OCG-99-8, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of the Interior OCG-99-9, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Justice OCG-99-10, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Labor OCG-99-11, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of State OCG-99-12, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Transportation OCG-99-13, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of the Treasury OCG-99-14, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Veterans Affairs OCG-99-15, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Agency for International Development OCG-99-16, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Environmental Protection Agency OCG-99-17, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: National Aeronautics and Space Administration OCG-99-18, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Nuclear Regulatory Commission OCG-99-19, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Social Security Administration OCG-99-20, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: U.S. Postal Service OCG-99-21, Jan 1, 1999

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