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    Subject Term: "Lessons learned"

    58 publications with a total of 218 open recommendations including 23 priority recommendations
    Director: Cristina Chaplain
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, as part of M-code receiver card acquisition planning, assign an organization with responsibility for systematically collecting integration test data, lessons learned, and design solutions and making them available to all programs expected to integrate M-code receiver cards.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Jessica Lucas-Judy
    Phone: (202) 512-9110

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue should ensure that the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) pilot better aligns with leading practices for effective pilot design. This should include (1) establishing criteria for assessing whether the pilot's objectives have been met before making decisions about its scalability and whether, how, and when to when to proceed to full implementation; and (2) developing a data analysis plan that identifies data sources and criteria necessary for effectively evaluating the pilot. (Recommendation 1)

    Agency: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue should ensure that the ISAC Partnership develops an outreach plan to expand membership and improve states' and industry partners' understanding of the ISAC's benefits. (Recommendation 2)

    Agency: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Carol C. Harris
    Phone: (202) 512-4456

    25 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should disseminate the 16 agency-focused lessons learned that have not been fully incorporated in GSA guidance to the agencies involved in the current transition. (Recommendation 1)

    Agency: General Services Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer verifies the completeness of its inventory of current telecommunications assets and services and establishes a process for ongoing maintenance of the inventory. (Recommendation 2)

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer completes efforts to identify future telecommunications needs and areas for optimization, identifies the costs and benefits of new technology, and aligns USDA's approach with its long-term plans. (Recommendation 3)

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer identifies transition-related roles and responsibilities related to the management of assets, human capital, and information security, and legal expertise; develops a transition communications plan; and uses configuration and change-management processes in USDA's transition. (Recommendation 4)

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer documents the costs and benefits of transition investments, identifies staff resources needed for the remainder of the transition, and analyzes training needs for staff assisting with the transition. (Recommendation 5)

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer demonstrates that the Department's transition goals and measures align with its mission, identifies transition risks related to critical systems and continuity of operations, and identifies mission-critical priorities in USDA's transition timeline. (Recommendation 6)

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer verifies the completeness of DOL's inventory of current telecommunications assets and services and establishes a process for ongoing maintenance of the inventory. (Recommendation 7)

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer identifies the agency's future telecommunications needs, completes a strategic analysis of the agency's telecommunications requirements, and incorporates the requirements into transition planning. (Recommendation 8)

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer identifies transition-related roles and responsibilities related to the management of assets, human capital, and information security, and legal expertise; develops a transition communications plan; and uses project, configuration, and change-management processes in DOL's transition (Recommendation 9)

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer identifies the resources needed for the full transition, develops justifications for the costs of changes to hardware and software, identifies staff resources needed for the remainder of the transition, and analyzes training needs for staff assisting with the transition. (Recommendation 10)

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer identifies transition risks related to information security, critical systems, and continuity of operations, and identifies mission-critical priorities in DOL's transition timeline. (Recommendation 11)

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission should ensure that the Commission's Chief Information Officer identifies the agency's future telecommunications needs, areas for optimization, and the costs and benefits of new technology; completes a strategic analysis of the commission's telecommunications requirements; and incorporates the identified requirements into transition planning. (Recommendation 12)

    Agency: United States Securities and Exchange Commission
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission should ensure that the Commission's Chief Information Officer identifies roles and responsibilities related to the management of assets and human capital and legal expertise for the transition; includes key local and regional officials in SEC's transition communications plan; and completes efforts to use configuration and change management processes in the transition. (Recommendation 13)

    Agency: United States Securities and Exchange Commission
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission should ensure that the Commission's Chief Information Officer identifies the resources needed for the full transition, justifies requests for transition resources, identifies staff resources needed for the full transition, and completes efforts to analyze training needs for staff assisting with the transition. (Recommendation 14)

    Agency: United States Securities and Exchange Commission
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission should ensure that the Commission's Chief Information Officer completes efforts to demonstrate that the commission's transition goals and measures align with its mission, identifies transition risks related to critical systems and continuity of operations, and identifies mission-critical priorities in SEC's transition timeline. (Recommendation 15)

    Agency: United States Securities and Exchange Commission
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure that the Administration's Chief Information Officer verifies the completeness of SSA's inventory of current telecommunications assets and services and establishes a process for ongoing maintenance of the inventory regarding services other than local and long-distance telecommunications. (Recommendation 16)

    Agency: Social Security Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure that the Administration's Chief Information Officer completes identification of the agency's future telecommunications needs and aligns its approach with the agency's enterprise architecture. (Recommendation 17)

    Agency: Social Security Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure that the Administration's Chief Information Officer uses configuration and change-management processes in its transition. (Recommendation 18)

    Agency: Social Security Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure that the Administration's Chief Information Officer identifies the resources needed for the full transition, documents the costs and benefits of transition investments, identifies staff resources needed for the remainder of the transition, and analyzes training needs for all staff working on the transition. (Recommendation 19)

    Agency: Social Security Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure that the Administration's Chief Information Officer completes efforts to identify measures of success for the transition, identifies transition risks related to critical systems and continuity of operations, and identifies mission-critical priorities in SSA's transition timeline. (Recommendation 20)

    Agency: Social Security Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer verifies the completeness of DOT's inventory of current telecommunications assets and services and establishes a process for ongoing maintenance of the inventory. (Recommendation 21)

    Agency: Department of Transportation
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer identifies the agency's future telecommunications needs, areas for optimization, and costs and benefits of new technology; and completes efforts to align DOT's approach with its long-term plans and enterprise architecture. (Recommendation 22)

    Agency: Department of Transportation
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer identifies roles and responsibilities related to the management of assets and human capital and legal expertise for the transition; develops a transition communications plan; and fully uses configuration and change-management processes in DOT's transition. (Recommendation 23)

    Agency: Department of Transportation
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer fully identifies the resources needed for the full transition, justifies requests for transition resources, identifies staff resources needed for the full transition, and fully analyzes training needs for staff assisting with the transition. (Recommendation 24)

    Agency: Department of Transportation
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should ensure that the Department's Chief Information Officer fully demonstrates that DOT's transition goals and measures align with its mission; completely identifies transition risks related to information security, critical systems, and continuity of operations; and fully identifies mission-critical priorities in the transition timeline. (Recommendation 25)

    Agency: Department of Transportation
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Jessica Lucas-Judy
    Phone: (202) 512-9110

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Veterans Affairs should track data that can help VA determine whether AVO improves recruitment and retention.

    Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Michael J. Courts
    Phone: (202) 512-8980

    4 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To address gaps in State's crisis and evacuation preparedness, that the Secretary of State should establish a monitoring and tracking process to ensure that DS fully reviews and documents the review of key sections of EAPs submitted to it during the annual EAP review cycle.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: State concurred with the recommendation and indicated that the Department plans to address this recommendation by adding a feature to their Post Emergency Guidance and Authorizing System due for release in 2018. This feature would consolidate their Emergency Action Plan (EAP) review and publication history for individual EAP sections into a single report for review and tracking. GAO will continue to track State's progress in implementing this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To address gaps in State's crisis and evacuation preparedness, that the Secretary of State should take steps to make the EAP more readily usable during emergency situations. For example, State could develop a more streamlined version of the EAP--consisting of key sections, checklists, and contact lists--that could be used by overseas post staff, in addition to the full EAP. In addition, for its new system planned for later this year, State could consider including requirements for streamlined EAPs.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: State concurred with the recommendation and indicated that the Department plans to address this recommendation by incorporating a streamlined Emergency Action Plan format into their Post Emergency Guidance and Authorizing System due for release in 2018. GAO will continue to track State's progress in implementing this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To address gaps in State's crisis and evacuation preparedness, that the Secretary of State should take steps to ensure that overseas posts complete and report completion of required drills within mandated time frames.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: State concurred with the recommendation and indicated that the Department plans to address this recommendation by incorporating the drill reporting requirement into their Post Emergency Guidance and Authorizing System due for release in 2018. GAO will continue to track State's progress in implementing this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To address gaps in State's crisis and evacuation preparedness, that the Secretary of State should take steps to ensure that overseas posts complete required lessons learned reports following authorized or ordered departures and submit the reports to State headquarters for analysis.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: State concurred with the recommendation and indicated that the Department plans to address this recommendation by developing resources to guide embassies' efforts to conduct post-crisis lesson learned discussions, including a cable sent to embassies providing a list of questions for consideration. State indicated these steps should be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017. GAO will continue to track State's progress in implementing this recommendation.
    Director: Michele Mackin
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To ensure the Milestone Decision Authority has an accurate and credible cost estimate for the Milestone C program review, Naval Sea Systems Command Cost Engineering and Industrial Analysis Group (NAVSEA 05C) should update the cost estimate for CVN 79 as part of the Ford-Class program life-cycle cost estimate. This estimate should be prepared in accordance with cost estimating best practices and include current shipbuilder performance data. The Naval Center for Cost Analysis (NCCA) should review the new CVN 79 cost estimate as part of the planned independent cost assessment. Further, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CAPE to include the new CVN 79 cost estimate as part of the planned independent cost estimate, which should form the basis of the program budget request. If the independent cost estimate for CVN 79 should exceed the cost cap, the Navy should submit to Congress a request to revise the cost cap.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: Starting with CVN 80, NAVSEA 05C should develop program life-cycle cost estimates for each individual ship in the Ford-Class program baseline. Development of these estimates should be provided at milestone reviews that should be aligned with major aircraft carrier funding events. In particular, for CVN 80, a program life-cycle cost estimate should be developed prior to the request for ship construction funding. For all ships in the class after CVN 80, a program life-cycle cost estimate should be aligned with milestone reviews that correspond with the receipt of any advance procurement funding and the first year of the request for ship construction funding. These estimates should be prepared in accordance with best practices and updated regularly with actual cost data. The Secretary of Defense should further direct the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation to develop independent cost estimates for these ships prior to the listed events. The Secretary of the Navy should direct NCCA to conduct independent cost assessments for these ships prior to the listed events.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To improve insight into cost changes for individual ships in the Ford Class, the program office should prepare cost summary and funding summary sections for each individual ship in the class as part of the SAR for the overall Ford-Class program.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Steve Morris
    Phone: (202) 512-3841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to develop a plan for evaluating completed corrective actions to determine their effectiveness and, as appropriate, consider whether any completed corrective actions require validation through simulations or exercises.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its comments on our draft report, USDA said that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) agreed with our recommendation to develop a plan for evaluating completed corrective actions to determine their effectiveness. Further, USDA said that APHIS will incorporate simulations and exercises in its plan and that, in the event of an actual outbreak, APHIS will evaluate the effectiveness of the response through an after action report. Finally, USDA said that APHIS will continually review the criteria and hierarchy of corrective actions, both completed and ongoing, with respect to avian influenza policies,emergency management activities, and critical communications with states, tribes, poultry producers, and poultry industry partners. GAO will assess the status of the recommendation when USDA provides information on the steps it has taken to implement it.
    Director: Cary B. Russell
    Phone: (202) 512-5431

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To better ensure quality financial execution information is available to guide the Joint Exercise Program, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness to direct the combatant commanders to take steps to comply with current Execution Management System guidance to upload supporting documentation that is reconcilable to funds executed from the Combatant Commanders Exercise Engagement and Training Transformation account.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To better ensure quality financial execution information is available to guide the Joint Exercise Program, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness to, as the department implements financial improvement plans in accordance with the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness guidance, include specific internal control steps and procedures to address and ensure the completeness and accuracy of information captured for the Joint Exercise Program's Combatant Commanders Exercise Engagement and Training Transformation account.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Robert Goldenkoff
    Phone: (202) 512-2757

    4 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Commerce and Under Secretary for Economic Affairs should direct the Census Bureau to determine the cause(s) for non-interviews experienced during the non-response follow-up operation and revise and test what, if any, changes need to be made to operational procedures, training, or both, including making contact with proxy respondents.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: Commerce agreed with this recommendation. In the Bureau's March 2017 action plan, it reported that analysis of the 2016 Census Test data is underway and that the 2016 Census Test experiences and the ongoing 2016 Census Test data analysis will inform the Bureau's evolution of operational methods and development of revised training content and provided a target completion date of December 2018, following completion and analyses of the nonresponse follow-up operation for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test. Evaluation data and studies of the 2016 Census Test experience could provide insight on what operational procedures, training, business rules, or other circumstances resulted in the higher-than-expected number of non-interviews. Making changes as needed, if any, in advance of the 2018 End-to-End Test would provide an opportunity to test them and better ensure that high rates of non-interviews do not adversely affect 2020 Census data quality.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Commerce and Under Secretary for Economic Affairs should direct the Census Bureau to revise and test operational procedures for accessing incomplete closed cases and revise and test training material to reflect when this flexibility to access incomplete closed cases should be used by the enumerator.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: Commerce agreed with this recommendation. In the Bureau's March 2017 action plan, it reported that the Bureau had identified enhancements to methods to address this recommendation and would consider how procedures can provide flexibility, and how the enumerator training can evolve to communicate the availability of this flexibility, and when the capability should be leveraged. It reported that how the software solutions will reflect these enhancements will inform the development of the procedures and training used by enumerators for the 2018 Census End-to-End Census Test. It reported a target completion of December 2018 following completion and analyses of the nonresponse follow-up operation for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Commerce and Under Secretary for Economic Affairs should direct the Census Bureau to revise and test operational procedures and relevant training materials for initial property manager visits to ensure procedures and training material are communicated to and understood by enumerators and their supervisors.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: Commerce agreed with this recommendation. In the Bureau's March 2017 action plan, it reported that based on its 2016 Census Test experiences, it had identified modifications to the system capabilities and procedures for initial multiunit manager visits and that it would implement and further study these changes in future tests, including the 2018 End-to-End Census Test. It reported a target completion in December 2018, following completion and analyses of the nonresponse follow-up operation for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test following completion and analyses of the nonresponse follow-up (NRFU) operation for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Commerce and Under Secretary for Economic Affairs should direct the Census Bureau to revise and test procedures on how to better leverage enumerator-collected information on the best time or day to conduct interviews, and ensure enumerators are properly trained on these procedures.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: Commerce agreed with this recommendation. In the Bureau's March 2017 action plan, it reported that as the Census Bureau develops enhancements to the procedures and training for enumerators, it will reflect on what it has learned from 2016 Census Test experiences as well as from recommendations such as this. It reported a target completion of December 2018, following completion and analyses of the nonresponse follow-up operation for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test.
    Director: Brian Lepore
    Phone: (202) 512-4523

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To provide Congress with better visibility over the costs for the environmental cleanup of properties from all Base Realignment and Closure rounds to inform future funding decisions, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the military departments to include in future annual reports to Congress that environmental cleanup costs will increase due to the cleanup of perfluorinated compounds and other emerging contaminants, and to include best estimates of these costs as additional information becomes available.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with this recommendation and stated that information on cleanup of perfluorinated compounds would be included in the fiscal year 2017 annual report to Congress. In November 2017, DOD told us that the Defense Environmental Restoration Programs Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2016 will include language related to the possible increase in cost estimates due to emerging contaminants like PFOS and PFOA. In November 2017, this report was going through the final coordination and signature process.
    Recommendation: To help the services more effectively share information and address environmental cleanups and transfers, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the military departments to create a repository or method to record and share lessons learned about how various locations have successfully addressed cleanup challenges.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD stated that it will develop a process to record and share lessons learned in conjunction with its fiscal year 2017 annual report to Congress. In November 2017, DOD stated that it was collecting lessons learned on BRAC sites as part of its fiscal year 2017 information collection process.
    Director: Timothy J. DiNapoli
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    5 open recommendations
    including 4 priority recommendations
    Recommendation: To better promote federal agency accountability for implementing the FSSI and category management initiatives, the Administrator of Federal Procurement Policy should ensure that transition plans are submitted and monitored as required by FSSI guidance and guidance governing specific category management initiatives.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: In October 2016, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) staff agreed that agency transitions plans should be submitted and monitored in accordance with guidance, as GAO recommended in October 2016. OMB staff indicated that all FSSIs are now being evaluated against best in class criteria as part of the migration to a category management approach to federal procurement. Further, OMB staff stated that OMB will issue additional policy or guidance as necessary. GAO believes these actions, if implemented, would meet the intent of the recommendation. As of August 1, 2017, OMB staff indicated they are continuing efforts to implement this recommendation. Given that transition plans were also required under FSSI guidance but were not submitted or monitored, it will be important for OMB to ensure that agencies follow through on submitting required plans going forward.
    Recommendation: To better promote federal agency accountability for implementing the FSSI and category management initiatives, the Administrator of Federal Procurement Policy should update the Leadership Council charter to establish an expectation that Leadership Council agencies develop agency-specific targets for use of the solutions approved.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: In October 2016, OMB staff agreed with the need for agency-specific targets for use of FSSI and category management initiatives as GAO recommended. OMB staff recommended, however, that this be accomplished through the Category Management governance and reporting procedures and processes that will be instituted in upcoming guidance, rather than an update to the Leadership Council charter. In October 2016, OMB issued a draft circular on category management establishing that spend under management will be the principal measure OMB will use to assess agency adoption of category management. OMB staff indicated that they plan to evaluate at least annually agencies' spend under management results, which includes agency adoption of best in class solutions, and then review with agency leaders progress toward meeting goals. As of August 1, 2017, OMB staff indicated they are continuing efforts to implement this recommendation. Given the low agency usage of the FSSIs, without such actions, and ensuring these targets and measures are set, OMB, and specifically the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, will lack the means to monitor progress and hold large procurement agencies accountable for using existing FSSIs or best in class solutions identified under subsequent category management efforts.
    Recommendation: To better promote federal agency accountability for implementing the FSSI and category management initiatives, the Administrator of Federal Procurement Policy should revise the 2015 category management guidance to establish a process for setting targets and performance measures for each Leadership Council agency's adoption of proposed FSSIs and category management solutions and ensure agency specific targets and measures are set.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: In October 2016, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) staff agreed that Leadership Council agency progress towards implementing category management should be tracked and measured as we recommended. OMB staff reported that guidance is in draft form in which agency progress will be measured using the Spend Under Management (SUM) model which provides an assessment of category management maturity for each of the ten government-wide categories as evaluated against five attributes: leadership, strategy, data, tools, and metrics. OMB will assess agency progress no less than annually and will engage agency leaders in regularly reviewing progress toward their goals. In addition, OMB will track agency spend through best in class contracts and these data will likely be used as an internal category metric and shared with the agencies. Taken together, these actions are responsive to GAO?s recommendations. As of August 1, 2017, OMB staff indicated they are continuing efforts to implement this recommendation. Given the low use of the FSSIs, OMB should continue to carefully monitor category management implementations as it moves forward and ensure that OFPP uses the planned targets and measures to hold agencies accountable for individual results. In short, greater accountability can lead to increased savings.
    Recommendation: To better promote federal agency accountability for implementing the FSSI and category management initiatives, the Administrator of Federal Procurement Policy should report on agency specific targets and metrics as part of the category management Cross-Agency Priority goal.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: In October 2016, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) staff agreed that agency specific targets and metrics should be reported as GAO recommended in October 2016. OMB staff indicated that results achieved relative to the Category Management Cross Agency Priority (CAP) goal targets will continue to be reported on a quarterly basis on Peformance.gov but that they will likely not include agency specific targets and metrics. Rather, OMB staff indicated that agency spending through best in class solutions will be tracked and used as an internal category metric and that OMB will engage agency leaders in regularly reviewing progress toward their goals and assess agencies no less than annually. GAO believes these actions, if implemented, would meet the intent of the recommendation. As of August 1, 2017, OMB staff indicated they are continuing efforts to implement this recommendation. Given the low agency usage of the FSSIs, OMB needs to monitor progress and hold large procurement agencies accountable for using existing FSSIs or best in class solutions identified under subsequent category management efforts.
    Recommendation: To improve the management of current FSSIs, the GSA FSSI program management office should provide oversight and support to the Information Retrieval FSSI to better align their practices with current strategic sourcing guidance related to collecting and using transactional data to calculate savings.

    Agency: General Services Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: In response to our recommendation, GSA conducted a gap analysis of the Information Retrieval FSSI and its compliance with FSSI standards and provided the Library of Congress with FSSI best practice tools and resources related to collecting transactional data and calculating savings. According to GSA, the Library of Congress intends to address gaps to support the goal of implementation in the next Information Retrieval award in 2018. GSA will monitor progress, and provide feedback and assistance.
    Director: Russell, Cary B
    Phone: (202) 512-5431

    6 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's management and oversight of contingency construction in the CENTCOM area of responsibility and in other geographic combatant commands where applicable, and to improve DOD's awareness of how much O&M funding the department uses for construction projects to support contingency operations, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the military departments, in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to track the universe and cost of ongoing and future contingency construction projects that are funded from O&M appropriations under section 2805 of Title 10, U.S. Code (unspecified minor military construction authority).

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's management and oversight of contingency construction in the CENTCOM area of responsibility and in other geographic combatant commands where applicable, and to improve DOD's ability to quickly fund contingency construction projects that are not ideally suited to the current standard Military Construction and Operation and Maintenance processes and time frames and reduce reliance on funding approaches that pose risks regarding the appropriate use of funding, negative operational impacts, and unnecessary duplication, DOD should evaluate and improve the use of existing processes and authorities to the extent possible; determine whether additional authorities are needed to support urgent construction needs; and revise existing departmental processes or seek additional authorities, as appropriate.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's management and oversight of contingency construction in the CENTCOM area of responsibility and in other geographic combatant commands where applicable, and to help ensure that DOD limits demands on available resources to those necessary to meet contingency construction project requirements and communicates those requirements effectively, the Secretary of Defense should, in coordination with the Secretary of the Army, direct the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a control activity for documenting level-of-construction determinations before the Army Corps of Engineers designs the projects and estimates their costs.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's management and oversight of contingency construction in the CENTCOM area of responsibility and in other geographic combatant commands where applicable, and to ensure that DOD avoids constructing facilities that may be unneeded to support U.S. forces and to comprehensively document the results of its reviews of ongoing construction projects when changes in mission requirements occur, the Secretary of Defense should, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, direct the Secretaries of the military departments and the Commander of CENTCOM to develop implementing guidance for the review and verification of ongoing contingency construction projects when mission changes occur.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's management and oversight of contingency construction in the CENTCOM area of responsibility and in other geographic combatant commands where applicable, and to improve the awareness of the combatant and service component commands' responsibilities to record and share lessons learned and to ensure that important contingency-construction-related lessons are recorded, the Secretary of Defense should, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, direct the Commander of CENTCOM to revise Central Command Regulation 415-1 or issue other guidance as appropriate to specifically detail the role of the combatant command and service component commands in recording contingency construction lessons learned from the CENTCOM area of responsibility in the Joint Lessons Learned Information System.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: In light of potential concerns regarding the appropriate use of funding raised by several of the examples identified in this report, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force to review these and, as appropriate, other construction projects in the contingency environment presenting similar circumstances to ensure that funds were properly used.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Chris Currie
    Phone: (404) 679-1875

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: If DHS's proposed CBRNE program consolidation is approved by Congress, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy to use, where appropriate, the key mergers and organizational transformation practices identified in our previous work to help ensure that a CBRNE consolidated office benefits from lessons learned from other organizational transformations.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: We found that key mergers and organizational transformation practices identified in previous GAO work could benefit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) if Congress approves the proposed CBRNE consolidation. As a result, we recommended that should Congress approve DHS's CBRNE consolidation plan, the department use key mergers and organizational transformation practices identified in previous GAO work. In November 2016, DHS stated that while Congress had yet to authorize DHS's CBRNE reorganization proposal, DHS remained committed to evaluating GAO's identified practices when developing an implementation plan. We will update the status of this recommendation as additional information is made available.
    Director: Robert Goldenkoff
    Phone: (202) 512-2757

    2 open recommendations
    including 2 priority recommendations
    Recommendation: To help strengthen the government's ability to compete in the labor market for top talent, and to improve the federal hiring process, for hiring authorities for which OPM oversees, the Director of OPM, in conjunction with the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) Council, should conduct a study or assessment of specific hiring authorities and/or processes to gain insight into why these agencies relied on the authorities, the relationship between the agencies' choices and the agency mission and broader public policy goals, consistent with merit systems principles, and determine whether modernization is necessary. For agency-specific hiring authorities and/or processes, OPM should collaborate with the CHCO Council to obtain similar insights agencies may have regarding their authorities and/or processes and to determine whether there are lessons learned which may be relevant to government-wide modernization efforts.

    Agency: Office of Personnel Management
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of August 2017, OPM has undertaken or completed some reviews of agency use of hiring authorities. In August 2016, OPM published the findings of a recent study on the use and effectiveness of the Pathways Programs' hiring authorities. In October 2016, OPM issued a report on hiring authorities used by the National Park Service to help meet its seasonal workforce needs. In August 2017, OPM said it had started a study of agencies' use of excepted service hiring authorities and it plans to issue a report in fiscal year 2018. We will continue to monitor OPM's efforts to assess the use and effectiveness of hiring authorities and any determination of the need for modernization.
    Recommendation: To help strengthen the government's ability to compete in the labor market for top talent, and to improve the federal hiring process, the Director of OPM, in conjunction with the CHCO Council, should use this information to determine whether opportunities exist to refine, consolidate, eliminate, or expand agency-specific authorities to other agencies and implement changes where OPM is authorized, including seeking presidential authorization (as necessary) in order to do so. In cases where legislation would be necessary to implement changes, OPM should work with the CHCO Council to develop legislative proposals.

    Agency: Office of Personnel Management
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of August 2017, OPM said it plans to explore opportunities for improving the hiring system by analyzing and reviewing existing hiring authorities with an eye towards modernization. For example, OPM said it plans to use information from its current study of excepted service hiring authorities to consider changes or refinements to these authorities once that study has been completed in fiscal year 2018. OPM also said its future plans to improve the hiring system will be informed by its current strategic planning efforts.
    Director: Jacqueline M. Nowicki
    Phone: (617) 788-0580

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To better manage any challenges states may face implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Secretary of Education should direct the Office of State Support to evaluate its oversight process in light of the challenges states encountered in implementing the Flexibility initiative to identify lessons learned and, as appropriate, incorporate any lessons into plans for overseeing the ESSA, particularly around issues such as the design and implementation of states' monitoring systems.

    Agency: Department of Education
    Status: Open

    Comments: Education agreed that it is important to continuously evaluate its work and to consider ways to improve its efficiency and effectiveness and cited examples of the agency doing so during ESEA Flexibility implementation. For example, Education said it developed the Office of State Support, in part based on lessons learned while implementing the Flexibility initiative. In addition, Education said that since the ESSA was enacted in December 2015, it has continued to informally evaluate ESEA Flexibility implementation and oversight and cited several examples relevant to ESEA Flexibility and other Education programs and initiatives. Further, the agency provided is piloting quarterly calls between Education program officers and states and piloting a fiscal review in eight states focused on components of the law it says did not change significantly between NCLBA and ESSA. As Education continues its efforts to evaluate lessons learned from the Flexibility initiative - including the peer review process - and apply them to its oversight of ESSA, we encourage Education to incorporate these lessons into how it oversees the design and implementation of states' monitoring systems which are key to the success of ESSA's accountability provisions. As of August 2017, Education reported that action is still pending to address this recommendation.
    Director: Zina Merritt
    Phone: (202) 512-5257

    6 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To increase department-wide supply chain efficiencies and effectiveness in support of maintenance at the Army and Marine Corps depots and Navy shipyards, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, in conjunction with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, and the Secretaries of the Army and Navy and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to assess through a comprehensive business case analysis-drawing on lessons learned from previous efforts-the costs and benefits of DLA managing the retail supply, storage, and distribution functions at the Army and Marine Corps depots and Navy shipyards.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of July 2017, DLA is in the process of coordinating "Memorandums of Understanding" with the Army, Marine Corps, and Naval Sea Systems Command in order to establish the parameters for the comprehensive business case analyses that will be conducted on transferring more supply, storage, and distribution functions to DLA. However, DLA and the respective entities have not completed the analyses at this point.
    Recommendation: To increase department-wide supply chain efficiencies and effectiveness in support of maintenance at the Army and Marine Corps depots and Navy shipyards, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, in conjunction with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, and the Secretaries of the Army and Navy and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to use the analysis to make a decision on the degree to which DLA should manage these functions at the Army and Marine Corps depots and Navy shipyards.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of July 2017, DLA is in the process of coordinating "Memorandums of Understanding" with the Army, Marine Corps, and Naval Sea Systems Command in order to establish the parameters for the comprehensive business case analyses that will be conducted on transferring more supply, storage, and distribution functions to DLA. However, DLA and the respective entities have not completed the analyses at this point.
    Recommendation: To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of supply and maintenance operations, in accordance with DOD guidance, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, in conjunction with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, and the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to develop and implement metrics that measure the accuracy of planning factors, such as the schedule, bill of materials, and replacement factors, used for depot maintenance.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of July 2017, DOD has begun to develop metrics that measure the accuracy of planning factors used for depot maintenance. However, these metrics are not scheduled to be implemented until October 2018. Thus, no actions have been taken to resolve any identified issues based on the results of the metrics.
    Recommendation: To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of supply and maintenance operations, in accordance with DOD guidance, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, in conjunction with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, and the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to take action, as appropriate and necessary, to resolve any issues identified through measuring the accuracy of planning inputs in an effort to improve supply and depot maintenance operations.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of July 2017, DOD has begun to develop metrics that measure the accuracy of planning factors used for depot maintenance. However, these metrics are not scheduled to be implemented until October 2018. Thus, no actions have been taken to resolve any identified issues based on the results of the metrics.
    Recommendation: To be able to assess the cost-effectiveness of supply and depot maintenance operations, in accordance with DOD supply chain management guidance, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, in conjunction with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to take steps to develop and implement metrics, to the extent feasible, to measure and track disruption costs created by the lack of parts at depot maintenance industrial sites by, for example, establishing a team of supply and depot maintenance experts from DLA and the services to assess potential data sources, approaches, and methods.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of July 2017, DOD has begun to develop metrics that measure and track disruption costs created by the lack of parts at depot maintenance industrial sites. However, these metrics are not scheduled to be implemented until October 2018. Thus, no actions have been taken to resolve any identified issues based on the results of the metrics.
    Recommendation: To be able to assess the cost-effectiveness of supply and depot maintenance operations, in accordance with DOD supply chain management guidance, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, in conjunction with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to take action, as appropriate, to address any inefficiencies identified by the disruption cost metrics in supply and depot maintenance operations.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of July 2017, DOD has begun to develop metrics that measure and track disruption costs created by the lack of parts at depot maintenance industrial sites. However, these metrics are not scheduled to be implemented until October 2018. Thus, no actions have been taken to resolve any identified issues based on the results of the metrics.
    Director: Michelle Sager
    Phone: (202) 512-6806

    4 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To enable a more effective approach in working with states to adopt the NDRF, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Administrator of FEMA to conduct a systematic analysis of the information generated from FEMA's readiness assessments to determine the extent of regional office efforts to help states implement the NDRF, including conducting education and outreach.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: DHS concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. According to FEMA, its Office of Readiness Assessment (ORA) launched the 2016 bi-annual FEMA Readiness Assessment Program in April 2016, which includes NDRF related assessment discussions in five FEMA regions. We met with officials in April 2017, who told us that ORA plans to incorporate into this year's assessments, a retrospective review of NDRF findings and progress made in implementing the NDRF since 2013. We will continue to monitor this to see what additional actions the agency takes in response to this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To enable a more effective approach in working with states to adopt the NDRF, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Administrator of FEMA to develop best practices and lessons learned with regard to conducting NDRF education and outreach to states based on the analysis of readiness assessments and create a mechanism to disseminate and share those best practices and lessons learned to FEMA regional offices.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: DHS concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. According to FEMA, its Recovery Support Function Leadership Group initiated an information management workgroup, which shares best practices information as one of its objectives. The workgroup has piloted the use of an existing interagency portal as a potential platform for improved information sharing. We met with officials in April 2017, who told us that FEMA will incorporate its 2016 readiness review findings and best practices from regional Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinators for stakeholder outreach and education into the final platform build-out. We will continue to monitor this to see what additional actions the agency takes in response to this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To enable a more effective approach in working with states to adopt the NDRF, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Administrator of FEMA to clarify with regional offices and Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinators (FDRCs) the role of the regional implementation plans in FDRC performance plans and how they will be used to assess NDRF regional implementation efforts.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: DHS concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. According to FEMA, to achieve greater integration of FEMA's field leadership components, FEMA's Field Operations Directorate (FOD) convened a Field Leadership Working Group of senior subject matter experts to conduct a mission analysis of FEMA's Field Leadership function (which includes Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinators as well as Federal Coordinating Officers and Incident Management Assistance Teams team leads). According to FEMA, one of the assigned tasks of the group involves developing performance metrics to define a steady state and operational performance framework for field leaders, to include Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinators. According to FEMA, the Working Group is currently underway and is preparing a Field Leader Manual for review by FOD leadership. We will continue to monitor this to see what additional actions the agency takes in response to this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To enable a more effective approach in working with states to adopt the NDRF, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Administrator of FEMA to align the annual FDRC performance expectations with clearly defined organizational goals and priorities, consistent with key management practices.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: DHS concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. According to FEMA, the Field Leadership Working Group will implement the elements of this recommendation alongside efforts to clarify the role of the regional National Disaster Recovery Framework implementation plans. FEMA also provided documentation to GAO noting that the Working Group is progressing in its work on its Field Leadership Professional Development Plan. We will continue to monitor this to see what additional actions the agency takes in response to this recommendation.
    Director: J. Christopher Mihm
    Phone: (202) 512-6806

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve the transparency of public reporting on CAP goal progress, the Director of OMB should, working with the PIC, report on Performance.gov the actions that CAP goal teams are taking, or plan to take, to develop performance measures and quarterly targets.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: We reviewed selected CAP goals quarterly performance information on the Performance.Gov website as of Q4 of FY 2016, which updates the status of the CAP goals through September 2016. Some of the selected CAP goals have updated and new performance measures, but it was not clear the extent to which CAP goal teams included information on the actions they are taking to develop such measures, consistent with our recommendation. We contacted OMB in June 2017 on the current status of this recommendation. We will provide an update to its status once OMB responds to our request.
    Director: Andrew Von Ah
    Phone: (213) 830-1011

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, in consultation with officials from the military service components and the JAMRS office, to develop a formal process for coordination on crosscutting issues to facilitate better leveraging of resources. As part of this process, DOD could review existing advertising programs to identify opportunities to reduce unnecessary duplication, overlap, and fragmentation and obtain potential efficiencies.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of August 2017, a DOD official from the office of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness stated that a working group drafted an Instruction on DOD advertising and marketing and this instruction will be signed within the next 30 days. The instruction requires that the relevant departmentwide office will meet quarterly with the military service marketing representatives to discuss best practices and to look for efficiencies. Further, the official stated that the Army has directed the Army National Guard to work through Army Marketing and Research Group regarding their marketing efforts, which consolidates all Army marketing efforts within one office. The Air force is also in discussion to determine how best to consolidate the marketing efforts of its Guard and Reserve components with the Active Duty to gain efficiencies. We will monitor the issuance of the instruction and the efforts of the Air Force to consolidate activities.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to ensure that each military service component fully measure advertising performance. This should include both the identification of measurable goals in future versions of the service components' advertising plans and assurance that the service components have access to the necessary performance data to determine the effectiveness of their advertising activities for lead generation activities.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of August 2017, a DOD official from the office of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness stated that a working group drafted an Instruction on DOD advertising and marketing and this instruction will be signed within the next 30 days. The instruction requires that the relevant department-level office will meet quarterly with the military service marketing representatives to discuss best practices and to look for efficiencies. Upon issuance of the instruction, we will assess the direction provided to the services in the instruction regarding performance measurement.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to ensure, as the department undertakes its effort to issue a department-wide policy for advertising, that this policy (1) clearly defines DOD's role in overseeing the advertising activities of military service components; (2) clarifies issues related to sports-related advertising; and (3) outlines procedures that should guide the components' advertising activities for other types of advertising, such as music concerts, other event advertising, and digital advertising.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of August 2017, a DOD official from the office of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness stated that a work group session was held in October 2016 and based on the outcome of that work group, DOD has drafted an Instruction on DOD advertising and marketing. That instruction is currently in the "Pre-Signature" phase as a priority instruction which means it should be signed and published within the next 30 days. We will continue to monitor the issuance of this instruction.
    Director: Dave Wise
    Phone: (202) 512-2834

    2 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To improve the quality and transparency of data entered into FRPP as GSA transitions the database to a platform that would enable greater government-wide use, the Administrator of GSA, in consultation with OMB and federal agencies, should (1) assess the reliability of FRPP data by determining how individual agencies collect and report FRPP data for each FRPP field, including any supplemental guidance used by agencies to comply with government-wide FRPP data definitions as part of the annual certification of FRPP data; (2) analyze the differences in collecting and reporting practices used by these agencies; and (3) identify and make available to FRPP users the limitations of using FRPP data, in the context of how the data are intended to be used in real property decision making and to measure real property performance across agencies and update federal guidance to address limitations, as needed.

    Agency: General Services Administration
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: GSA partially agreed with the recommendation noting that it has limited resources to fully analyze and map the data relative to FRPP data definitions, and that it is the responsibility of individual agencies to ensure reliability of the data and compliance with FRPP definitions. As of October 2016, GSA has taken some action to implement this recommendation. GSA told us it has made progress by conducting an in-depth survey in June 2106 focusing on several data elements including: replacement value, status, owned and otherwise management operating costs, repair needs, utilization, and lease costs. The survey asked agencies questions regarding the processes/resources used to source and compile these data elements from agency IT systems as well as internal agency guidance. GSA received responses from 24 agencies and stated it plans to complete its initial analysis of the survey in the fall of 2016 and indicate limitations of these data elements. GSA plans to conduct a series of working group meetings with agencies to conduct an in depth review of the survey results and to develop a set of recommendations for the Federal Real Property Council. GSA said these recommendations may include, but are not limited to, altering data dictionary definitions, sharing best or common practices for reporting these data elements, and sharing the limitations on the use of these data elements. Based on the working group outcomes and input from the Federal Real Property Council and OMB, GSA plans to produce a white paper on these topics by the latter part of 2017.
    Recommendation: To enhance the usefulness of the National Strategy for managing federal real property government-wide, the Director of OMB should expand the National Strategy to further address long-standing real property management challenges by: (1) expanding the scope to include maintenance and repair needs; (2) articulating planned actions and identifying alternative approaches, including alternative-funding mechanisms, to address underlying causes of the real property problems; (3) ensuring that performance measures at the agency level inform the overall progress of the National Strategy; and (4) determining the government-wide costs, benefits, and risks by leveraging agencies' long-term capital plans and identifying approaches to optimally manage that risk.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm the actions that OMB has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Steve D. Morris
    Phone: (202) 512-3841

    6 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To strengthen USDA's ability to better manage and monitor the progress of the Blueprint, including efforts to streamline and improve administrative services, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Assistant Secretary for Administration to develop a complete list identifying all of the Blueprint efforts under way and document key information needed to monitor their progress, such as status of implementation, time frames for completion, and related performance measures.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of March 2017, we have requested an update from the coordinator for USDA's Blueprint for Stronger Service on USDA's actions, if any, to implement this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To strengthen USDA's ability to better manage and monitor the progress of the Blueprint, including efforts to streamline and improve administrative services, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Assistant Secretary for Administration to reexamine the adequacy of the staff and budget resources committed to the day-to-day management of the Blueprint, and further leverage existing departmental resources as needed.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of March 2017, we have requested an update from the coordinator for USDA's Blueprint for Stronger Service on USDA's actions, if any, to implement this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve USDA's efforts to identify and track the benefits of the Blueprint, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Assistant Secretary for Administration to document the methodologies used to calculate any savings claimed for the Blueprint effort to ensure any such estimate is based on quality information.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of March 2017, we have requested an update from the coordinator for USDA's Blueprint for Stronger Service on USDA's actions, if any, to implement this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve USDA's efforts to identify and track the benefits of the Blueprint, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Chief Financial Officer to develop a cost-effective method, using existing data systems, to collect and track USDA's spending on administrative services to identify baseline spending and target areas for future cost savings.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of March 2017, we have requested an update from the coordinator for USDA's Blueprint for Stronger Service on USDA's actions, if any, to implement this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve USDA's efforts to identify and track the benefits of the Blueprint, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Assistant Secretary for Administration to systematically identify and track nonfinancial benefits from USDA's Blueprint efforts to better gauge the Blueprint's progress and more fully report its results.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of March 2017, we have requested an update from the coordinator for USDA's Blueprint for Stronger Service on USDA's actions, if any, to implement this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To enhance USDA's efforts to share lessons learned from the Blueprint, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Assistant Secretary for Administration to maintain and promote existing web-based collaboration tools, including keeping information in these tools current, for agencies and staff offices to report their experiences and lessons learned from their Blueprint efforts to help strengthen internal information sharing and inform future efforts.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of March 2017, we have requested an update from the coordinator for USDA's Blueprint for Stronger Service on USDA's actions, if any, to implement this recommendation.
    Director: Chris Currie
    Phone: (404) 679-1875

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To enable FEMA to and more effectively respond to disasters, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the FEMA Administrator to develop a workforce strategy to manage and improve retention that includes a process for systematically gathering attrition data and a plan to retain IMAT Cadre-of On-Call Response Employees.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: In April 2017, FEMA provided an update on the status of actions taken in response to our report. In the update, FEMA officials said they had issued a new FEMA Human Capital Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2016-2020 that includes an objective to build a scalable and skilled workforce with associated measures including a decrease in attrition rate for permanent full time employees, and an increase in disaster workforce through improvements in the recruitment and retention of incident management employees. FEMA also stated that pay issues and work-life balance have been identified as contributing to retention on National Type I and Regional Type II IMATs. FEMA is actively addressing the pay issues. FEMA provided a brief summary of the actions being taken--which includes development of a policy that provides information on establishing base pay under the new pay system, movement within the pay bands, and merit-based increases is in development. Until completion of the action items, this recommendation will remain open. FEMA officials plan to provide a status update in October 2017.
    Director: Michele Mackin
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve coordination and communication between FEMA OCPO and region mission support officials region mission support officials, the FEMA Administrator should establish a plan to ensure that the agreement is reviewed on an annual basis as intended.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
    Status: Open

    Comments: In commenting on this report, DHS concurred with this recommendation. According to FEMA officials, the Office of Procurement Operations has since formed a team that will address this recommendation. We will provide updated information as it becomes available.
    Recommendation: To improve coordination and communication between FEMA Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) and region mission support officials region mission support officials, the FEMA Administrator should direct OCPO and the regional administrators to revisit the 2011 service level agreement to: add details about the extent of operational control headquarters and regional supervisors should exercise to minimize potential competing interests experienced by regional contracting officers; further detail headquarters and regional supervisors' roles and responsibilities for managing regional contracting officers to improve coordination and communication; and ensure that the agreement reflects any new requirements, including recent changes in training that may require travel funds.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
    Status: Open

    Comments: In commenting on this report, DHS concurred with this recommendation. According to FEMA officials, the Office of Procurement Operations has since formed a team that will address this recommendation. We will provide updated information as it becomes available.
    Recommendation: To address PKEMRA, the Secretary of Homeland Security should take action to address the requirements of Section 692 to implement subcontractor limitations or request that Congress amend the law to delete Section 692.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2016, DHS took steps to ask Congress to repeal PKEMRA Section 692, which prohibits the use of subcontracts for more than 65 percent of the cost of cost-reimbursement type contracts that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. DHS submitted a legislative change proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), who approves such proposals before they are submitted to Congress. OMB approved the proposed change for PKEMRA Section 692 in April 2016. We will provide additional updates as information becomes available.
    Director: Valerie C. Melvin
    Phone: (202) 512-6304

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve the oversight of states' marketplace IT projects, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure that all CMS senior executives from IT and business units who are involved in the establishment of state marketplace IT projects review and approve funding decisions for these projects.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2015, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concurred with the recommendation. The department, in its agency comments, stated that it already included senior executives in its funding decisions for these projects. However, as noted in our report, CMS did not provide evidence that key senior executives from CCIIO, CMCS, and OTS were involved in various funding decisions associated with the states' IT projects. For example, CMS did not demonstrate that senior-level executives from all relevant business and IT units were involved in the initial approval of grant awards or the release of restricted IT funds from marketplace grants as states progressed with their projects. In addition, CMS did not provide evidence of senior executive involvement in the approval of Medicaid funds for marketplace IT projects. Furthermore, as of March 10, 2017, CMS still had not provided evidence that it had taken such actions to support the implementation of this recommendation. By ensuring such executive involvement, CMS would increase accountability for decisions to fund states' IT projects and ensure that these decisions are well informed in order to make efficient use of federal funds.
    Recommendation: To improve the oversight of states' marketplace IT projects, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure that states have completed all testing of marketplace system functions prior to releasing them into operation.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2015, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concurred with the recommendation. The department noted that it would continue to follow its guidelines to determine if state marketplace system functions are ready for release. The department added that it would work closely with state-based marketplaces to improve their systems and verify that system requirements are met and fully tested before approving them for release into production. While CMS drafted guidance to update its process in June 2016, which required states to submit certain testing reports and supporting documentation, as of March 10, 2017, the agency had not provided evidence that it had determined that state systems had been sufficiently tested for release into operations.
    Director: Cristina Chaplain
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: When planning for the next phase of national security space launches, Phase 2, the Secretary of the Air Force should consider using an incremental approach to the next launch services acquisition strategy. Planning for acquisitions on a short term basis will help ensure that the Air Force does not commit itself to a strategy until the appropriate amount of data is available to make an informed decision, and will allow for flexibility in responding to a changing launch industry.

    Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force
    Status: Open

    Comments: In providing comments on this report, the agency concurred with this recommendation but has not yet completed actions necessary to implement it. The acquisition strategy for the next phase of national security launches, Phase 2, has not yet been finalized by the Air Force. The EELV program office expects it to be completed in the summer of 2018.
    Director: Joseph W. Kirschbaum
    Phone: (202) 512-9971

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To assist U.S. installations in protecting against insider threats, the Secretary of Defense should direct the military services to share information about actions U.S. installations have taken to address insider threats by consistently using existing mechanisms--such as working groups, lessons-learned information systems, and antiterrorism web portals.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To assist DOD leadership in their oversight and decision-making process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the DOD leaders on the Mission Assurance Coordination Boards and the military services to take steps to improve the consistency of reporting and monitoring of the implementation of recommendations from the independent review of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting. Such steps could include DOD and the military services developing criteria for consistent reporting on the progress of recommendations and the military services providing periodic reports to the Mission Assurance Coordination Boards on the status of Fort Hood recommendations at the service level and installation level.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: David Powner
    Phone: (202) 512-9286

    5 open recommendations
    Recommendation: In order to institutionalize sound IT management practices and build FSA's IT management capacity while improving service to the Nation's farmers and ranchers, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the FSA Administrator to establish and implement an improvement plan to guide the agency in adopting recognized best practices and following agency policy.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: FSA developed a Strategic IT Roadmap to assist the agency's business and IT leadership in prioritizing IT investments. In addition, FSA stated that it will develop and document a comprehensive improvement plan that is to delineate tactical steps, timelines, and performance metrics to track incremental progress in adopting recognized best practices and program management capabilities. We will continue to monitor the agency's progress in documenting and implementing its improvement plan.
    Recommendation: In order to institutionalize sound IT management practices and build FSA's IT management capacity while improving service to the Nation's farmers and ranchers, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the FSA Administrator to adhere to recognized best practices and agency policy in developing and managing system requirements before proceeding with any further system development to deliver previously envisioned MIDAS functionality. Specifically, the Administrator should ensure that requirements are complete, unambiguous, and prioritized; commitment to requirements is obtained through a formal requirements baseline; differences (or gaps) between the requirements and capabilities of the intended solution (including commercial off-the-shelf solutions) are analyzed; strategies to address any gaps are developed; and requirements are traced forward and backward among development products.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: FSA reported that it will improve the rigor and adherence to requirements management processes for all IT projects, utilizing processes and tools that will support the integrity of the requirements throughout the lifecycle, to ensure that requirements are complete, formally baselined, gaps are analyzed, and fully traceable forward and backward. FSA also noted that it is pursuing an enhanced, more comprehensive governance structure that will further support its commitment to increasing rigor and adherence to defined requirements management processes. We will continue to monitor the agency's implementation of these efforts.
    Recommendation: In order to institutionalize sound IT management practices and build FSA's IT management capacity while improving service to the Nation's farmers and ranchers, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the FSA Administrator to adhere to recognized best practices and agency policy in planning and monitoring projects. Specifically, the Administrator should ensure that project plans include predefined expectations for cost, schedule, and deliverables before proceeding with any further system development; updates to the project plan are made through change control processes; and progress against the project plan, including work performed by contractors, is monitored.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: FSA noted that it began an initiative to improve the agency's use of capital planning guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and would prepare corrective action plans to address identified weaknesses in fiscal year 2016. FSA also noted that it was conducting a series of training classes on capital planning and IT project management across the agency, developing a risk management program, and strengthening the use of earned value management. We will continue to monitor the agency's progress on its project planning efforts.
    Recommendation: In order to institutionalize sound IT management practices and build FSA's IT management capacity while improving service to the Nation's farmers and ranchers, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the FSA Administrator to adhere to recognized best practices and agency policy in system testing. Specifically, the Administrator should establish well-defined test plans before proceeding with any further system development, and ensure that testing of (a) individual system components, (b) the integration of system components, and (c) the end-to-end system are conducted.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: FSA stated that going forward the agency will adhere to recognized best practices and agency policy in pursuing consistent or increased rigor around system testing. The agency noted that it plans to demonstrate that its testing capabilities are consistent and repeatable across all FSA IT projects. We will continue to monitor the agency's implementation of these efforts.
    Recommendation: In order to institutionalize sound IT management practices and build FSA's IT management capacity while improving service to the Nation's farmers and ranchers, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the FSA Administrator to adhere to recognized best practices and agency policy in executive-level IT governance before proceeding with any further system development. Specifically, an executive-level governance board should (1) review and approve a comprehensive business case that includes a life cycle cost estimate, a cost-benefit analysis, and an analysis of alternatives for proposed solutions that are to provide former MIDAS requirements prior to their implementation; (2) ensure that any programs that are to accommodate former MIDAS requirements are fully implementing the IT program management disciplines and practices identified in this report; (3) conduct a post-implementation review and document lessons learned for the MIDAS investment; and (4) reassess the viability of the MIDAS technical solution before investing in further modernization technologies.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: FSA stated that, as part of its organizational transformation efforts, the CIO is evaluating its governance structure and updating the charter for the agency-wide IT investment review board with the support of the agency's Executive Leadership Council. FSA also noted that it will adhere to the department's governance framework and processes. We will continue to monitor the agency's implementation of these efforts and how they address our recommendation.
    Director: Kathleen M. King
    Phone: (202) 512-7114

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: CMS should conduct a formal analysis, using its experience and data it has collected since the implementation of the first MAC contracts, to determine whether alternative contracting approaches could be used--even if only for selected MAC contract responsibilities--to help promote improved contractor performance.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Mark L. Goldstein
    Phone: (202) 512-2834

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve the accountability and transparency of FirstNet's operations, and ensure that FirstNet is gaining as much knowledge from the early builder projects as possible, FirstNet should strengthen FirstNet's internal control system by fully assessing risks, developing standards of conduct, and evaluating performance against these standards.

    Agency: Department of Commerce: National Telecommunications and Information Administration: First Responder Network Authority
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Jacqueline M. Nowicki
    Phone: (617) 788-0580

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To help ensure that states are better able to sustain RTT reforms and that Education can effectively support other grant programs managed by the Office of State Support, the Secretary of Education should direct the Office of State Support to fully implement and incorporate into its coordinated technical assistance policies and procedures the types of support that would be useful in sustaining RTT reforms and providing effective support to grantees in other programs supporting education reform that the Office of State Support oversees. These could include: (1) providing individualized technical assistance to states, such as that currently provided by Education program officers; (2) facilitating communities of practice to promote opportunities for collaboration across states; (3) providing professional development (or training) throughout the grant period, as opposed to only during the early stages of the grant; (4) making training more easily accessible by conducting training locally in their respective states, when possible; and (5) to the extent permissible in the context of federal and state requirements and restrictions, exploring the possibility of assisting states in identifying skilled contractors to help implement reform efforts.

    Agency: Department of Education
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2015, Education stated that the Office of State Support drafted a technical assistance plan that is being revised based on stakeholder input. Officials stated that the technical assistance plan addresses all of the suggestions included in our recommendation. In September 2017, Education provided a "Draft Conceptual Framework for OSS Technical Assistance Plan" dated March 2016, which the agency confirmed to be a final version. However, this document is a plan that does not show the activities were actually implemented. We will consider closing this recommendation when the agency provides documentation that the activities have been completed.
    Director: Mark L. Goldstein
    Phone: (202) 512-2834

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security should direct FPS to develop and implement a strategy for using covert-testing data and data on prohibited items to improve FPS's security-screening efforts. The strategy should, at a minimum, aim to ensure that: (1) covert-testing data are used to systematically monitor, review, and improve performance nationwide; (2) covert-testing data are used to determine which testing scenarios will be implemented or reinstated; and (3) data on prohibited items are analyzed to determine the reasons for wide variations in the number of reported prohibited-items detected across buildings and to assist with managing the screening process and informing policy.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of June 2016, implementation of this recommendation was in process, according to the Federal Protective Service (FPS). FPS provided no additional information, but plans to update GAO in the coming weeks on the status of this and other open recommendations.
    Director: J. Christopher Mihm
    Phone: (202) 512-6806

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct, as appropriate, federal agencies involved with the White House Working Group on Detroit, to collect good practices and lessons learned from their efforts to assist Detroit during its fiscal crisis and share them with other federal agencies and local governments. Toward this end, OMB may want to consider making use of existing knowledge and capacity associated with the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative and its National Resource Network.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: In commenting on a draft of GAO's March 2015 report, OMB neither agreed nor disagreed with this recommendation. In April 2017, OMB staff stated that they believed steps had been taken to preserve some of the lessons coming out of the administration's efforts to assist the City of Detroit during its fiscal crisis. However, they were unable to provide specifics. GAO has requested additional information and supporting documentation regarding this effort.
    Director: Cary Russell
    Phone: (202) 512-5431

    4 open recommendations
    including 2 priority recommendations
    Recommendation: To help improve collection of OCS issues by the military services and service component commands, the Secretary of Defense should revise existing DOD guidance, such as DOD Instruction 3020.41, to specifically detail the roles and responsibilities of the services in collecting OCS issues.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of October 2016, officials from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Program Support reported that the department is in the process of updating DOD Instruction 3020.41, which identifies responsibilities related to operational contract support. Officials stated that the revised instruction, which is expected to be issued in December 2016, will detail the roles and responsibilities of the services in collecting lessons learned on operational contract support issues.
    Recommendation: To specifically identify and improve awareness of OCS roles and responsibilities and to collect OCS issues at the military services and the service component commands, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Navy and Air Force to include the services' roles and responsibilities to collect OCS issues in comprehensive service-specific guidance on how the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force should integrate OCS.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of October 2016, officials from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Program Support reported that the department is in the process of updating DOD Instruction 3020.41, which identifies responsibilities related to operational contract support. Officials stated that the revised instruction, which is expected to be issued in December 2016, will detail the roles and responsibilities of the services in collecting lessons learned on operational contract support issues. Once revisions to the instruction are completed, officials noted that the services will be postured to include this new guidance in their respective regulations and guidance documents. Officials estimate completion of these service-specific regulations and guidance in fiscal year 2017.
    Recommendation: To help improve awareness of OCS roles and responsibilities and to collect OCS issues at the military services and the service component commands, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the military departments, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to establish an OCS training requirement for commanders and senior leaders.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. In May 2016, officials from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Program Support reported current OCS policy (DOD Instruction 3020.41) requires the Services and the Chairman to incorporate OCS into applicable policy, doctrine, programming, training, and operations. Officials stated that the revised instruction, which is expected to be issued in December 2016, will more clearly call out the OCS training requirement for commanders and senior leaders.
    Recommendation: To help improve DOD's management of OCS lessons learned, the Secretary of Defense should ensure that, as the department develops a concept for an OCS joint proponent, it include specific roles and responsibilities for a focal point responsible for integrating OCS issues from the Joint Lessons Learned Program.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD partially concurred with this recommendation. In May 2016, officials from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Program Support reported the department decided against creating a joint proponent for OCS issues. Rather, the course of action chosen was to designate the Joint Staff J4 as the OCS focal point and the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) as the Principal Staff Advisor. Officials stated that the Joint Staff (J4) will serve as the focal point for integrating OCS issues from the Joint Lessons Learned Program and into DOD processes and procedures. Officials said that this designation will be detailed in DOD Instruction 3020.41, which is expected to be issued in December 2016.
    Director: Carol R. Cha
    Phone: (202) 512-4456

    2 open recommendations
    including 2 priority recommendations
    Recommendation: To ensure that the Bureau is better positioned to deliver an Internet response option for the 2020 Decennial Census, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs to direct the Director of the Census Bureau to ensure that the estimated costs associated with the Internet response option are updated to reflect significant changes in the program and to fully meet the characteristics of a reliable cost estimate.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: The Department of Commerce neither agreed nor disagreed with this recommendation. To fully implement this recommendation, the Census Bureau's updated cost estimate needs to reflect significant changes in the program as they relate to the Internet response option and fully meet the characteristics of a reliable cost estimate. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the Bureau's progress in implementing this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To ensure that the Bureau is better positioned to deliver an Internet response option for the 2020 Decennial Census, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs to direct the Director of the Census Bureau to ensure that the methodologies for answering the Internet response rate and IT infrastructure research questions are determined and documented in existing or future project plans in time to inform key design decisions.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: The Department of Commerce neither agreed nor disagreed with this recommendation. The Census Bureau has developed the methodologies for answering IT infrastructure research questions in its 2020 Census Enterprise Architecture and Infrastructure Transition Plan, which describes the Bureau's multi-year plan for evolving the IT infrastructure to support all 2020 Census operations. However, to fully implement this recommendation the Bureau needs to provide documentation that describes the methodology for determining the Internet response rate for the 2020 Census. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the Bureau's progress in implementing this recommendation.
    Director: Robert Goldenkoff
    Phone: (202) 512-2757

    3 open recommendations
    including 3 priority recommendations
    Recommendation: To assist the interagency working group, known as the Federal Agency Skills Team (FAST), to better identify government-wide skills gaps having programmatic impacts and measure its progress towards closing them, the Director of OPM--in conjunction with the CHCO Council--should strengthen its approach and methodology by (1) assisting FAST in developing goals for closing skills gaps with targets that are both clear and measurable; (2) working with FAST to design outcome-oriented performance metrics that align with overall targets for closing skills gaps and link to the activities for addressing kills gaps; (3) incorporating greater input from subject matter experts, as planned; and (4) ensuring FAST consistently follows key practices for project planning.

    Agency: Office of Personnel Management
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of October 2016, OPM has sought to strengthen the methodology for closing skills gaps by offering skills gap closure training to 1) agency officials with respect to agency-specific skills gaps, and 2) interagency working groups with respect to government-wide skills gaps. Held during the spring of 2016, this OPM-led training sought to provide agency officials with methodologies for identifying the root causes for skills gaps, as well as provide assistance in developing action plans for implementing and monitoring their strategies to address these skills gaps. OPM officials stated that these interagency teams will report on a quarterly basis to the OPM Director on their progress to implement these strategies, beginning in January 2017. OPM, in conjunction with OMB, agencies, and the CHCO Council, needs to ensure that this infrastructure is implemented as developed.
    Recommendation: To ensure that OPM builds the predictive capacity to identify emerging skills gaps across the government--including the ability to collect and use reliable information on the competencies of the federal workforce for government-wide workforce analysis--the Director of OPM should (1) establish a schedule specifying when OPM will modify its Enterprise Human Resources Integration database to capture staffing data that it currently collects from agencies through its annual workforce data reporting process; and (2) work with agency CHCOs to bolster the ability of agencies to assess workforce competencies by sharing competency surveys, lessons learned, and other tools and resources.

    Agency: Office of Personnel Management
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of October 2016, officials reported that OPM has partnered with the Chief Learning Officers Council to leverage resources to develop a framework to support agencies efforts to develop competency assessments. Additionally, OPM reported that it has created an internal working group to determine whether its Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) personnel database can support having a predictive capacity for identifying emerging skills gaps across the government, including the ability to collect and use information on the competencies of the federal workforce. OPM needs to work with agencies to improve competency assessment across the government and to pursue modifying EHRI to support the collection of staffing and competency data.
    Recommendation: To help agencies and OPM better monitor progress toward closing skills gaps within agencies and government-wide, the Director of OPM should (1) work with the CHCO Council to develop a core set of metrics that all agencies should use as part of their HRstat data-driven reviews; and (2) coordinate with FAST personnel and explore the feasibility of collecting information needed by FAST as part of agencies' HRstat reviews.

    Agency: Office of Personnel Management
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of October 2016, officials reported that OPM has partnered with the CHCO Council to implement a government-wide set of metrics for use as part of a government-wide benchmarking effort. However, it has no plans to coordinate the data collection efforts of agencies' HRstat reviews with the collection efforts of OPM's and agencies' working groups to identify and address skills gaps. OPM stated that coordinating the data collection was not possible because agencies' HRstat reviews have different goals and collect different types of data than the working groups. We maintain that action on our recommendation is important because it is likely that the core metrics collected under HRstat could help inform the efforts of the working groups and thus reduce duplicative efforts. Moreover, the use of a core set of metrics from agencies' HRstat reviews could aid in monitoring actual progress in closing skills gaps government-wide.
    Director: Frank Rusco
    Phone: (202) 512-3841

    1 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To improve the reliability of its cost estimates, as NRC revises its cost estimating procedures, the NRC Chairman should ensure that the agency aligns the procedures with relevant cost estimating best practices identified in the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide and ensure that future cost estimates are prepared in accordance with relevant cost estimating best practices.

    Agency: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: In February 2017, the NRC staff released draft updated cost-benefit guidance, with a public comment period beginning in March 2017. In January 2018, NRC staff plan to provide a draft of the final guidance to the Commission. The final updated cost-benefit guidance is expected to be issued for use in March 2018.
    Director: Johnson Jr, Charles M
    Phone: (202) 512-7331

    4 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To enhance the definition of the GSCF program and assist stakeholders in assessing whether GSCF is meeting its goals, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense should provide a range of time to clarify the time frames associated with near- to mid-term GSCF projects.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) partially agreed that the departments should clearly define what time frames constitute "near- to mid-term" for GSCF projects. As of September 2015, DOD has not published a definition for what time frame constitutes "near to mid-term" for GSCF projects.
    Recommendation: To enhance the definition of the GSCF program and assist stakeholders in assessing whether GSCF is meeting its goals, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense should provide a range of time to clarify the time frames associated with near- to mid-term GSCF projects.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State did not agree that the departments should define what time frames constitute "near- to mid-term" for GSCF projects. As of September 2015, State has not published a definition for what time frame constitutes "near to mid-term" for GSCF projects.
    Recommendation: To enhance the definition of the GSCF program and assist stakeholders in assessing whether GSCF is meeting its goals, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense should track GSCF projects against established time frames.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense agreed that the departments should track GSCF projects against established time frames and said in its response that the departments plan to track the projects against the congressional notification timelines and plan to continue holding biweekly calls with project implementers to identify and address implementation considerations. As of September 2015, DOD has not tracked GSCF projects against time frames.
    Recommendation: To enhance the definition of the GSCF program and assist stakeholders in assessing whether GSCF is meeting its goals, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense should track GSCF projects against established time frames.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State agreed that the departments should track GSCF projects against established time frames. As of September 2015, State is not tracking GSCF projects against time frames.
    Director: Michele Mackin
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The legislated cost cap for Ford-class aircraft carrier construction provides a limit on procurement funds. However, the legislation also provides for adjustments to the cost cap. To understand the true cost of each Ford-class ship, Congress should consider revising the cost cap legislation to ensure that all work included in the initial ship cost estimate that is deferred to post-delivery and outfitting account is counted against the cost cap. If warranted, the Navy would be required to seek statutory authority to increase the cap.

    Agency: Congress
    Status: Open

    Comments: This recommendation remains open to allow Congress time to consider legislation amending the cost cap for the Ford class of aircraft carriers. The current version of the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810) does not amend the current cost cap legislation.
    Director: Brenda S. Farrell
    Phone: (202) 512-3604

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: In order for the military services to obtain more comprehensive and detailed information regarding sexual assault prevention and response during basic and subsequent career-specific training to help oversee their programs, the Secretary of Defense should direct each military service, in collaboration with the Director of DOD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, to develop and implement a tool, such as a survey, or leverage existing military training surveys--such as those used by the Air Force or the Navy--that will provide more comprehensive and detailed information to decision makers about sexual assault and other sexual misconduct that occur during initial military training, including basic and subsequent career-specific military training.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD partially concurred with the recommendation to develop and implement a survey, or leverage existing military training surveys, which will provide more comprehensive and detailed information to decision makers about sexual assault and other sexual misconduct that occurs during initial military training, including basic and subsequent career-specific military training. In its written comments, DOD stated that the department values the intent of this recommendation; but stated that more analysis needs to be conducted to determine the best tool or methodology to meet the intent of this recommendation and reduce the negative impact of possible survey fatigue. As of August 2017, DOD requires each service to respond about actions taken in response to this recommendation in its enclosure to the department's annual report on sexual assault. While the Navy and Air Force continue to survey recruits and technical training students, the Marine Corps and Army have not implemented surveys. As such, this recommendation will remain open and we will monitor the response of the Army and Marine Corps in next year's annual report.
    Director: Cristina Chaplain
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's ability to ensure it is fully leveraging investments made in canceled programs, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to develop department-wide processes to improve tracking of assets, including technical data and software, and dissemination of information about assets available for reuse after programs are canceled.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of September 2017, DOD has not provided evidence of any processes that could improve tracking of assets such as technical data and software.
    Director: David C. Trimble
    Phone: (202) 512-3841

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To identify lessons learned from and provide assurance of preventing recurrence of cost increases for the MOX facility and WSB, and to develop reliable cost estimates for the Plutonium Disposition program, the Secretary of Energy should direct the DOE and NNSA Offices of Acquisition and Project Management and the NNSA office responsible for managing the Plutonium Disposition program, as appropriate, to revise and update the program's life-cycle cost estimate following the 12 key steps described in the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide for developing high-quality cost estimates, such as conducting an independent cost estimate to provide an objective and unbiased assessment of whether the estimate can be achieved.

    Agency: Department of Energy
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOE is currently evaluating dilute and dispose as a potential alternative approach to the MOX approach. As a result, DOE does not plan to update the Plutonium Disposition Program life-cycle estimate until a decision is made on which approach to pursue. We will continue to monitor this situation and update the status of this recommendation once DOE has made a decision on the approach taken by this program.
    Recommendation: To identify lessons learned from and provide assurance of preventing recurrence of cost increases for the MOX facility and WSB, and to develop reliable cost estimates for the Plutonium Disposition program, the Secretary of Energy should direct the DOE and NNSA Offices of Acquisition and Project Management and the NNSA office responsible for managing the Plutonium Disposition program, as appropriate, to ensure that the MOX contractor revises its proposal for increasing the cost of the MOX facility to meet all best practices for a high-quality, reliable cost estimate--for example, by cross-checking major cost elements to determine whether alternative estimating methods produce similar results.

    Agency: Department of Energy
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOE is currently evaluating dilute and dispose as a potential alternative approach to the MOX approach. As a result, DOE does not plan to update the proposal for increasing the cost of the MOX facility until a decision is made on which approach to pursue. We will continue to monitor this situation and update the status of this recommendation once DOE has made a decision on the approach taken by this program.
    Recommendation: To ensure that future DOE projects benefit from lessons learned that reflect the underlying causes of cost increases or schedule delays experienced by other projects, and that Congress and DOE have life-cycle cost estimates for DOE programs that include individual construction projects, the Secretary of Energy should revise DOE's project management order or otherwise implement a departmentwide requirement by requiring life-cycle cost estimates covering the full cost of programs that include both construction projects and other efforts and activities not related to construction.

    Agency: Department of Energy
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOE revised its project management order in May 2016 but did not make any changes in regards to this recommendation. We will continue to monitor DOE activities, if any, related to this recommendation.
    Director: St James, Lorelei
    Phone: (202) 512-2834

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To strengthen USPS's capital investment process related to USPS policy and consistent application of leading practices, the Postmaster General and executive leaders should establish a time frame for developing a clear, detailed, single-source, standard set of policies and procedures that reflect the capital investment selection phase.

    Agency: United States Postal Service: Office of the Postmaster General
    Status: Open

    Comments: In June 2017, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) informed GAO that its Handbook F-66 General Investment Policies and Procedures is undergoing revisions that will make the capital investment selection process more clear, detailed, and standardized. The revised draft of the F-66 handbook is currently in the review and clearance process and may be finalized in 2017. USPS added that it will inform GAO of further updates as they develop.
    Recommendation: To strengthen USPS's capital investment process related to USPS policy and consistent application of leading practices, the Postmaster General and executive leaders should modify capital investment policies to more closely align with the following leading practices, including: (1) for planning capital investments, consider whether an external entity could better support all or part of a desired function when evaluating alternative capital investment options; (2) for selecting capital investments, use a portfolio approach for developing business cases and finalizing and allocating resources; and (3) for evaluating capital investments, seek and leverage external oversight and review, from a consultant or peer reviewer, and require that best practices and lessons learned be incorporated into the review process.

    Agency: United States Postal Service: Office of the Postmaster General
    Status: Open

    Comments: In June 2017, USPS informed GAO and provided documentation that its Handbook F-66 General Investment Policies and Procedures is to incorporate all leading practices. The F-66, however, is not yet finalized. In particular, the draft F-66 states that for planning investments, USPS is to conduct an analysis to identify the most economically beneficial resolution to a problem--the alternative that will result in the highest net present value, lowest costs, or greatest savings. For selecting investments, USPS is to use a portfolio approach organized by agency goals, sub-goals, indicators, and targets. For evaluating investments, USPS is to evaluate the need to hire consultants when applicable to assess the investment. The revised F-66 indicates that USPS will also is require project managers to submit an analysis of investment performance and lessons learned as part of its post-deployment steps.
    Recommendation: To strengthen USPS's capital investment process related to USPS policy and consistent application of leading practices, the Postmaster General and executive leaders should regularly examine the extent to which executives and program managers consistently follow all leading practices, particularly for: (1) identifying problems and reassessing risk while managing a project; and (2) evaluating the cost, schedule, and performance results of completed projects.

    Agency: United States Postal Service: Office of the Postmaster General
    Status: Open

    Comments: In June 2017, USPS informed GAO and provided documentation that its revised Handbook F-66 General Investment Policies and Procedures is to include a management step to regularly review the progress and benefits of its capital investments, as well as its affordability and achievability, and make adjustments as necessary to meet the investment's goals. In addition, once a project is completed, USPS will require capital investment managers to present on the investment's performance, return-on-investment, and lessons learned.
    Director: Wilshusen, Gregory C
    Phone: (202) 512-6244

    8 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve their response to data breaches involving PII, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to require documentation of the reasoning behind risk determinations for breaches involving PII.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: We have not yet validated agency actions on this recommendation. Subsequent to the department stating that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.
    Recommendation: To improve their response to data breaches involving PII, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to require an evaluation of the agency's response to data breaches involving PII to identify lessons learned that could be incorporated into agency security and privacy policies and practices.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: We have not yet validated agency actions on this recommendation. Subsequent to the department stating that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.
    Recommendation: To improve their response to data breaches involving PII, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to require documentation of the risk assessment performed for breaches involving PII, including the reasoning behind risk determinations.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: We have not yet validated agency actions on this recommendation. Subsequent to the department stating that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.
    Recommendation: To improve their response to data breaches involving PII, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to document the number of affected individuals associated with each incident involving PII.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: We have not yet validated agency actions on this recommendation. Subsequent to the department stating that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.
    Recommendation: To improve their response to data breaches involving PII, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to require an evaluation of the agency's response to data breaches involving PII to identify lessons learned that could be incorporated into agency security and privacy policies and practices.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: We have not yet validated agency actions on this recommendation. Subsequent to the department stating that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.
    Recommendation: To improve their response to data breaches involving PII, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board should require documentation of the risk assessment performed for breaches involving PII, including the reasoning behind risk determinations.

    Agency: Federal Reserve System
    Status: Open

    Comments: We have not yet validated agency actions on this recommendation. Subsequent to the agency stating that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.
    Recommendation: To improve their response to data breaches involving PII, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board should document the number of affected individuals associated with each incident involving PII.

    Agency: Federal Reserve System
    Status: Open

    Comments: We have not yet validated agency actions on this recommendation. Subsequent to the agency stating that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.
    Recommendation: To improve their response to data breaches involving PII, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board should require an evaluation of the agency's response to data breaches involving PII to identify lessons learned that could be incorporated into agency security and privacy policies and practices.

    Agency: Federal Reserve System
    Status: Open

    Comments: We have not yet validated agency actions on this recommendation. Subsequent to the agency stating that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.
    Director: Cha, Carol R
    Phone: (202) 512-4456

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve planning and execution of the next telecommunications transition, the Administrator of General Services, in coordination with the Office of Personnel Management, should examine potential government-wide telecommunications expertise shortfalls and use the study to shape the NS2020 strategic approach.

    Agency: General Services Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: The General Services Administration (GSA) has not addressed this recommendation. In June 2014, the agency reported that it had coordinated with OPM to incorporate key objectives in its NS2020 strategy to address and mitigate challenges with regards to government-wide expertise needed to execute the NS2020 program. However, as of May 2017, GSA had not demonstrated that it had studied potential government-wide telecommunications expertise shortfalls or used the study to shape the NS2020 strategic approach.
    Recommendation: To improve planning and execution of the next telecommunications transition, the Administrator of General Services should ensure that the lessons are applied, based on priority and available resources, to the next transition strategy.

    Agency: General Services Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: The General Services Administration has not implemented this recommendation but has taken steps to address it. In April 2014, the agency developed a strategy for transitioning to the next telecommunications contract vehicle. The strategy described the lessons learned that contributed to the delay in the prior transition and identified approaches the agency planned to take to apply the lessons learned. For example, it identified high level plans for addressing the need for improved management of the complex acquisition process and the need for technical and contracting telecommunications expertise across the government. As of August 2016, GSA had prioritized the lessons learned and considered the resources needed to apply them. However, as of May 2017, the agency had not demonstrated that it had ensured that the lessons were applied, based on priority and available resources, to the next transition strategy. We will continue to monitor GSA's efforts to implement the recommendation.
    Director: Jeszeck, Charles A
    Phone: (202) 512-7215

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: As DOL and Treasury continue their efforts to determine the actions needed to enhance the retirement security of 401(k) plan participants, DOL and Treasury should consider the approaches taken by other countries to formalize access to multiple spend-down options for U.S. plan participants that address varying retirement risks and needs. To the extent possible, lessons from other countries should be used to help DOL and Treasury ensure plan sponsors have information about their flexibilities and the ability to facilitate access to a mix of appropriate options for 401(k) plan participants.

    Agency: Department of the Treasury
    Status: Open

    Comments: Treasury did not provide comments on this recommendation and has not provided any updates.
    Recommendation: As DOL considers changes to participant benefit statements and other disclosures, the Secretary of DOL should consider strategies other countries have employed to help participants make sound decisions, such as providing timely information at or before retirement about available spend-down options and projections of future retirement income.

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOL agreed that participants should have timely information at or before retirement about available spend-down options and projections of future retirement income. DOL had previously published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting public input on ways to show an projections of lifetime income in retirement plan benefit statements. DOL also consulted with the ERISA Advisory Council on ways it could assist DOL in this area. The Council developed and submitted to DOL tips, principals, and samples for plan sponsors to consider when communicating with participants. However, DOL has not taken additional steps in this area and continues to cite its other regulatory and guidance priorities as taking precedence.
    Recommendation: As DOL continues to review regulatory barriers to lifetime income options for 401(k) plan participants it should consider other countries' approaches to plans offering annuities, such as their reliance on existing solvency requirements and insurance industry standards to provide assurances rather than place responsibility on plan sponsors to make an assessment of an annuity provider's financial stability. As DOL considers the approaches of other countries and continues to work with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which facilitates interactions between insurance companies and state insurance regulators, DOL may wish to consult with the Federal Insurance Office, which coordinates federal efforts on prudential aspects of international insurance matters.

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOL worked with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in 2013 and 2014 to consider possible options for easing plan sponsor concerns about the requirement to assess the financial solvency of annuity providers. DOL reported they will continue to work with NAIC, as well as the National Organization of Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Associations and Treasury's Federal Insurance Office as they consider potential regulatory approaches in this area. DOL also worked with the Federal Insurance Office in developing guidance on the selection and monitoring of annuity providers under the current annuity selection safe harbor regulation. However, DOL has not taken further actions and continues to cite its other regulatory and guidance priorities as taking precedence. We commend DOL's efforts on a more workable safe harbor, but continue to encourage DOL to review alternative approaches taken by other countries, such as their reliance on existing solvency requirements and insurance standards, which can ease the burden on plan sponsors.
    Director: Powner, David A
    Phone: (202)512-9286

    48 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to disclose the limitations of any data reported (or disclose the parameters and assumptions of these data) on the agencies' consolidation efforts and associated savings and cost avoidance.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its comments on GAO's November 2013 report, OMB disagreed with this recommended action, stating that it had disclosed limitations on data reported and cited three instances of these efforts. However, GAO maintained that, while OMB reported limitations of data regarding commodity information technology (IT) consolidation efforts in these cases, the information reported did not provide stakeholders and the public with a complete understanding of the data presented. For example, OMB did not disclose that information from the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Justice was not included in the consolidation estimates reported, which, considering the scope of DOD's efforts in this area (at least $3.2 billion), was a major gap. As of March 2017, OMB still had not addressed this recommendation. During that month, the agency told GAO that improving the quality of the data agencies submit through the integrated data collections (which include data on agencies' consolidation efforts and associated savings and cost avoidance) is a priority and that Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer staff follow up with agencies when they detect anomalies in the data reported. OMB, however, did not address actions to disclose the limitations of data reported or disclose the parameters and assumptions of these data. Such disclosure would provide the public and other stakeholders with crucial information needed to understand the status of PortfolioStat and agency progress in meeting the goals of the initiative.
    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require that agencies report on efforts to address action plan items as part of future PortfolioStat reporting.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: OMB's June 2015 memorandum on the management and oversight of federal information technology (M-15-14) established quarterly PortfolioStat sessions between OMB and agency Chief Information Officers. This represented a change from the previously required annual action item memos. In November 2016, OMB stated that it informally tracks action items resulting from PortfolioStat but no formal documentation is kept. We will continue to follow up on how OMB ensures that agencies report on efforts to address action items as part of future PortfolioStat reporting.
    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to improve transparency of and accountability for PortfolioStat by publicly disclosing planned and actual data consolidation efforts and related cost savings by agency.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: In October 2015, OMB started displaying actual data consolidation savings data on the federal information technology (IT) dashboard, consistent with provisions of the IT reform legislation commonly referred to as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. However, in November 2016, and again in March 2017, OMB stated that it does not track planned cost savings and cost avoidance figures and did not provide any plans to do so. Improving the transparency and accountability for PortfolioStat by publicly disclosing both planned and actual data consolidation efforts and related cost savings by agency would provide stakeholders, including Congress and the public, a means to monitor agencies' progress and hold them accountable for reducing duplication and achieving cost savings.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided information on its efforts to ensure the quality of its commodity IT baseline data. Specifically, USDA reported having (1) developed a central repository for agencies and staff offices to populate commodity IT data and (2) provided training on the use of the repository, and (3)established an addtional level of oversight to monitor data quality. We are reviewing supporting documentation obtained from the department to determine whether the recommendation has been fully addressed.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat Action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Agriculture provided information on the elements identified in the recommendation. We are reviewing additional supporting documentation obtained from the department to determine whether the recommendation has been fully addressed.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department finalizes and matures its valuation methodology, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to utilize this process to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Agriculture stated that its Chief Information Officer will formalize and implement a value-based measurement model to help determine which IT investments should be included in the USDA IT portfolio. We are reviewing supporting documentation obtained from the department to determine whether this recommendation has been fully addressed.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to develop support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 through 2015 for the Cellular Phone Contract Consolidation, IT Infrastructure Consolidation/Enterprise Data Center Consolidation, and Geospatial Consolidation initiatives.

    Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Agriculture stated that its CIO has developed supporting documentation for the cost savings/avoidance associated with the efforts identified in the recommendation. We are reviewing supporting documentation obtained from the department to determine whether this recommendation has been fully addressed.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Commerce stated that the majority of its IT investments were made at the operating unit level and it was therefore planning on issuing policy to require consistency between the operating units' enterprise architecture and the totality of IT investments as reflected in the annual capital asset plan and business case summary submission. The department noted it would also require that consistency between the department's enterprise architecture and the IT investment portfolio is confirmed before submission of either of these artifacts. We are following up with the department to determine the status of these planned actions.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Commerce stated it had submitted two iterations of its commodity IT baseline to OMB since we made our recommendation. The department noted the PortfolioStat process and requirement to submit the baseline through the integrated data collection tool helped ensure the baseline was complete. We plan to follow up with Commerce officials.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Defense stated that it had efforts underway, including an initiative known as the Joint Information Environment, to further refine the Department's commodity IT baseline. As of August 2016, we found that the department's DOD IT Portfolio Repository included business and enterprise IT systems--two of three commodity IT areas defined by OMB--as part of an ongoing engagement. We are following up with the department to find out about actions to develop an inventory of assets associated with IT infrastructure--the third category of commodity IT defined by OMB.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in the future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of December 2013, the department did not concur with this recommendation stating that the commodity IT construct implemented in the PortfolioStat initiative did not work well within the department's federated processes. The department agreed, however, that a strategy, consistent with the intent of achieving better buying power and control of commodity IT items, should be developed and implemented within the department using existing authorities, and noted that it was in the process of implementing such a strategy. In August 2016, we followed up with the department to obtain an update on the status of this strategy and determine the associated reporting to OMB. As of the end of October, we were still waiting for a response.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to obtain support from the relevant component agencies for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the data center consolidation, enterprise software purchasing, and General Fund Enterprise Business System initiatives.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Defense stated that it already reports data center consolidation savings to both OMB and Congress and will continue to realize savings from the Enterprise Software Initiative, other strategic sourcing efforts, and the continuing implementation of General Fund Enterprise Business System initiatives. As of August 2016, we had collected support for data center consolidation as part of our ongoing data center consolidation work, and were waiting to receive support for the Enterprise Software Initiative savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 through recommendation follow-up for a prior software licensing review (GAO-14-413). We are following up with the department to obtain support for savings for the General Fund Enterprise Business System.
    Recommendation: To improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Defense stated that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would fully describe the four action plan elements identified in this recommendation in future OMB reporting. We are following up with the department to determine the status of these efforts and obtain the associated supporting documentation.
    Recommendation: To improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to report on the agency's progress in consolidating eCPIC to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In October 2016, the Department of Defense provided a report stating it had completed the consolidation of eCPIC to a shared service in August 2014. We are following up with the department to obtain supporting documentation.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Energy should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency: Department of Energy
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Energy stated that it will update its policy orders as necessary to implement the OMB policy for consolidating commodity IT under the Chief Information Officer and include a description in future OMB reporting. The department also noted that it will work to establish additional value criteria to idenitfy low-value or duplicative federal commodity IT investments, and these criteria will be described in future OMB reporting. We are reviewing the department's reporting to OMB to determine the extent to which this recommendation has been addressed.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that it uses OMB's quarterly integrated data collection submission process to continually update the information in its baseline. We are following up with the agency to determine whether it has any process to ensure the completeness of the information that is submitted.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; and (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that, in its August 2014 PortfolioStat update, it had reported to OMB on the status of actions to consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and to establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions. The agency also stated that it was working to develop criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, and duplicative investments. We are reviewing the August 2014 PortfolioStat update to verify the agency's claims. We plan to also follow up on efforts to develop the aforementioned criteria and any associated reporting to OMB.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the managed print services and strategic sourcing of end user computing to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that it expected its print services to take on additional devices and locations beginning in April 2014 and that a contract vehicle for the purchasing and leasing of end user computing equipment was expected to be awarded by the end of the month. We are reviewing the agency's quarterly reporting to OMB to determine whether progress on the two initiatives was reported to OMB as we recommended.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency: Department of the Interior
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department reported that it was planning to undertake a series of activities spanning a 15-month timeframe to create a complete commodity IT baseline, including embarking upon a statistical analysis and cost projection initiative that is intended to identify the degree of confidence in the commodity IT baseline, and develop mechanisms that will enable validation and verification in the future. We will follow up with the department on the results of its activities.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency: Department of the Interior
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 comments on our report, the Department of the Interior stated that it was undertaking a business-driven approach that will involve working wtih its governance boards to establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments. The department stated it would establish the criteria by December 2014. However, the department did not address whether it would be reporting its plans to OMB, which was the focus of our recomnendation. We will follow up with officials on this.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Electronic Forms System component of the eMail Enterprise Records & Document Management System deployment 8 to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Department of the Interior
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 comments on our report, the Department of the Interior provided information on the status of its efforts to consolidate the Enterprise Forms System to a shared service and established a December 2014 target date for completion. In addition, the department stated that it would report on the status of the initiative quarterly until completion. We will follow up with the department to monitor its progress in completing the initiative and reporting on it to OMB.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Attorney General should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency: Department of Justice
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Justice stated that it had updated its enterprise architecture to include 100 percent of the information technology investments. However, it did not provide evidence of this action.We will follow up with the department to obtain supporting documentation.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Attorney General should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets.

    Agency: Department of Justice
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that its Email and Collaboration Working Group established consolidation targets, and began Phase One of its email consolidation effort. In addition, DOJ provided information on the status of its efforts to establish additional targets. We are reviewing the information provided, as well as DOJ's reporting to OMB, to determine the extent to which this recommendation has been addressed.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets.

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Labor stated that the Chief Information Officer participates in discussions to identify and eliminate duplication and facilitate the use of commodity IT and shared services through the IT governance committees. We are reviewing documentation we recently obtained from the department to determine the current status of action to address this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the cloud e-mail services to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Department of Labor
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Labor completed the consolidation of DOL agency e-mail systems into a shared cloud-based e-mail service in September 2014. In July 2015, the department provided evidence of a status report on the Office of Management and Budget IT dashboard showing completion of the initiative.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the agency's enterprise architecture.

    Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: in July 2015, NASA reported that it had initiated an effort referred to as Business Service Assessment (BSA) for IT to establish a more efficient IT operating model that maintains a minimum set of capabilities and meets current and future mission needs. The agency stated that one objective of the BSA is to guide technical, services, and investment decisions, create enterprise architecture and enterprise services methodologies for each IT domain that feeds into the overarching enterprise architecture for the full IT portfolio. In March 2016, the agency reported that final recommendations regarding the BSA were expected to be submitted to the Agency Mission Support Council at the end of the month. We are following up with NASA on the status of this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: In May 2015, NASA reported that OMB published new action items that resulted in a shift in tracking of the previous action items identified in our recommendation. In July 2015, the agency provided evidence of a July 2015 report updating OMB of the status of these items.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Archivist of the United States should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency: National Archives and Records Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: In its February 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the National Archives and Records Administration reported that the four action plan elements identified in the recommendation had been included in the latest information resources management strategic plan submitted to OMB. We will review the plan to confirm whether the elements were included.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Director of the National Science Foundation should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency: National Science Foundation
    Status: Open

    Comments: The National Science Foundation (NSF) reported that while OMB had not requested that the agency provide updates to the 2012 PortfolioStat action plan, NSF had provided different, OMB-requested documentation in support of annual PortfolioStat activities. We plan to follow up with the agency to determine the extent to which the documentation provided to OMB addresses our recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency: Office of Personnel Management
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Office of Personnel Management stated that it would be generating a policy requiring the baselines to be updated quarterly and established a target of May 2015 for fully implementing this recommendation. In March 2015, the agency stated that it was continuing to make progress toward the completion of its commodity IT baseline.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) move at least two commodity IT areas to shared services and (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation.

    Agency: Office of Personnel Management
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Office of Personnel Management stated that the initial program office responses to our recommendation represented the vision of the former Chief Information Officer (CIO). The agency stated that the new CIO's strategic plan would address duplicative systems and contracts as part of the CIO re-organization project that was underway, with the intent of bringing the different job functions under one group in order to utilize resources and common business functions more effectively. The agency established May 2015 as a target for fully implementing the recommendation. However, we have not yet received evidence of this action. We plan to follow up on the status of actions taken.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the help desk consolidation and IT asset inventory to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Office of Personnel Management
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Office of Personal Management (OPM) stated that a project initiated under the former Chief Information Officer's guidance deals specifically with help desk consolidation. OPM also stated it had leveraged the Remedy tool to integrate the IT asset inventory function as part of the help desk and that many of the IT asset inventory functions were now automated as part of this effort. The agency established May 2015 as a target for fully implementing the recommendation. We plan to follow up with OPM to find out about the status of actions taken to address this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency: Small Business Administration
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: In a recent GAO review examining whether agencies have complete inventories of business and enterprise IT systems (which represent 2 of the 3 categories of assets called for in the commodity IT baseline), SBA provided an inventory which it acknowledged did not include all systems or represent all offices. (Note: the review was summarized in GAO-16-511 issued in September 2016.) The agency noted that it was working with its offices to complete the inventory and hoped to finalize it and establish processes for updating the inventory, including possibly automating its data gathering abilities. In May 2017, SBA provided an update on the status of actions to address the recommendation. We are currently reviewing the documentation provided to determine whether SBA has fully addressed the recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (4) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency: Small Business Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: In June 2015, SBA stated it believed the action items would be addressed as part of its actions to implement the provisions of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. We reviewed the agency's December 2015 plan for implementing the law and an April 2016 update but did not find evidence of actions to address the items in the recommendation. In May 2017, SBA provided an update on the status of actions to address the recommendation. We are currently reviewing the documentation provided to determine whether SBA has fully addressed the recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency: Social Security Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that the instruction set for its Special Expense Item process through which all non-labor IT dollars go now includes the definition of commodity IT baseline, and the requirement to identify all commodity IT baseline funds requested. SSA also stated it will report the commodity IT baseline results for fiscal year 2015 in its November integrated data collection report. We are reviewing the instruction set for the Special Expense Item process and SSA's November integrated data collection report to verify SSA's reported actions.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the geospatial architecture to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Social Security Administration
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that it had migrated its geospatial architecture to a shared service in September 2014 and was complying with OMB reporting requirements. In July 2016, the agency provided e-mail messages and meeting minutes documenting various stages of the migration as evidence that it was completed as planned. However, SSA did not provide evidence of reporting to OMB. We are following up with SSA to obtain this evidence.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: According to the Department of State, since August 2014 all major and non-major IT investments and corresponding assets have been captured in enterprise architecture artifacts. We will follow up with the department to obtain documentation supporting this claim.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) move at least two commodity IT areas to shared services; (4) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (5) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department of State reported taking several actions to address the action plan elements we determined had not been fully described in our review. For example, it provided the Integrated Logistics Management System and the Global IT Modernization program as examples of two commodity IT investments it had moved to shared services and reported that it instituted review processes to identify duplicative efforts within the IT portfolio. The department, however, did not state whether it had reported these actions to OMB, which was the focus of our recommendation. We will follow up with the department on this.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Foreign Affairs Network and content publishing and delivery services to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department of State reported that it had completed the content publishing and delivery services initiative and was reporting on its progress in consolidating the Foreign Affairs Network initiative to shared services through the OMB budget process. We plan to follow up with the agency to obtain supporting documentation.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Enterprise Messaging to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Department of Transportation
    Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2015, the department reported that it had discontinued its effort to migrate the Enterprise Messaging program to shared services because it was no longer cost-effective. We plan to follow up with the department on this matter.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency: Department of the Treasury
    Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the Departmnent of the Treasury provided information on its efforts to address its action plan elements, including (1) establishing a general approach to reviewing new investment requests that considers risk, value, and cost; and (2) driving Treasury's IT investment portfolio toward common platforms whenever possible. However, the department did not address whether it was reporting on these efforts to OMB, which was the focus of our recommendation. We will follow up with the department on this.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department finalizes and matures its enterprise architecture and valuation methodology, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to utilize these processes to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency: Department of the Treasury
    Status: Open

    Comments: The department described several examples of processes it had in place to identify opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value or wasteful investments, including annual reviews of each major IT investment and monthly portfolio reviews. We plan to follow up with the department to obtain supporting documentation.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to develop support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the DoNotPay Business Center, Fiscal IT Data Center Consolidation and Business Process Management Status initiatives.

    Agency: Department of the Treasury
    Status: Open

    Comments: The department provided documentation related to its DoNotPay Business Center, Fiscal IT Data Center Consolidation, and Business Process Management Status initiatives. We are reviewing the information provided and plan to follow up with the department as appropriate.
    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the agency's enterprise architecture.

    Agency: United States Agency for International Development
    Status: Open

    Comments: In response to this recommendation, in September 2014, USAID provided GAO its guidance for establishing an IT asset inventory consistent with Federal Information Systems Management Act requirements and its guidance for purchasing equipment and services which are compliant with agency standards. In October 2015, USAID also stated that it regularly updates its enterprise architecture through maintenance of its information systems inventory and evaluation of future investments. In March 2017, the agency provided GAO documentation supporting its efforts to maintain its information systems inventory and evaluate future investments. However, USAID did not show how these activities help ensure that investments are all included in the enterprise architecture. GAO is following up with the agency on this matter.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation.

    Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
    Status: Open

    Comments: In a December 2015 update to the status of this recommendation, the department stated it was changing its governance processes and organizational structures for IT portfolio, system, project and requirements management to strengthen its ability to identify and eliminate/consolidate duplicative systems or contracts. The department recently reported that these new processes and organizations were established in the Spring of 2016, including a new strategic sourcing approach which should assist in addressing our recommendation. We are following up with the department to obtain evidence of this approach.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the dedicated fax servers to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
    Status: Open

    Comments: In December 2015, the department reported that it would no longer pursue the initiative because an analysis performed in fiscal year 2014 indicated very little, if any cost savings to be achieved. The agency, however, did not provide evidence regarding any related reporting to OMB. We are following up with the department to obtain this evidence.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department matures its enterprise architecture process, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to make use of it, as well as the valuation model, to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
    Status: Open

    Comments: In December 2015, the department stated it was changing its governance processes and organizational structures for IT portfolio, system, project and requirements management to strengthen its ability to identify and eliminate/consolidate duplicative systems or contracts. The department recently reported that these new processes and organizations were established in the Spring of 2016. We are following up with the department to find out how they are incorporating the use of the enterprise architecture and value model to identify opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.
    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to develop detailed support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the Server Virtualization, Eliminate Dedicated Fax Servers Consolidation, Renegotiate Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement, and one CPU policy initiatives.

    Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
    Status: Open

    Comments: In December 2015, the department reported that the scope of the Server Virtualization initiative was increased and that the cost avoidance estimates were being revised accordingly. It also reported that the Elimination of Analog Fax Lines initiative was no longer being pursued because an analysis found that it would result in very little, if any, cost savings. In regards to the Renegotiate Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement initiative, the department reported that total savings over a 5-year period were renegotiated but did not provide supporting documentation. Lastly, the department reported that a new economic justification for the One CPU Policy initiative was being developed based on a consolidation strategy, and would be provided when completed. We are following up with the department to obtain documentation supporting its reported actions.
    Director: White, James R
    Phone: (202)512-5594

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To increase the effectiveness of IRS's examinations individual tax returns, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue should transcribe data from paper-filed Form 1040 Schedules C and E that are not currently transcribed and make that data available to SB/SE examiners for classification. If IRS has evidence that the costs related to transcribing all such data on Schedules C and E are prohibitive, IRS could do one or both of the following actions: (1) transcribe less data by transcribing only the missing data for selected line items, such as certain, large expense line items, or (2) develop a budget proposal to fund an initiative for transcribing Schedule C and E.

    Agency: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of March 2017, IRS had completed its study on whether to transcribe more data from paper-filed returns by comparing the benefits to classifying tax returns for audit from doing this transcription. They said the benefits to be derived from additional transcription are not significant and would not outweigh the added cost. However, IRS has not provided specific information about the costs and benefits from transcribing information from Schedules C and E that we mentioned in our recommendation. Having more data transcribed and electronically available from these areas likely will improve the classification of audits as well as the quality of the audits, according to examiners we spoke with for the report.
    Director: Rusco, Franklin W
    Phone: (202) 512-3841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To better inform efforts for nuclear power plant emergency preparedness and planning, NRC Commissioners should obtain information on public awareness of radiological emergency preparedness for communities outside the 10-mile emergency planning zone and the likely response of those communities in the event of a radiological incident at a nuclear facility and consider how these results may affect estimates for shadow evacuations outside the zone.

    Agency: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Lepore, Brian J
    Phone: (202)512-4523

    14 open recommendations
    including 5 priority recommendations
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to increase the fidelity of the initial cost estimates that DOD submits with its recommendations to the BRAC Commission for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to work with the military services, defense agencies, and other appropriate stakeholders to improve the process for fully identifying recommendation-specific military construction requirements and ensuring that those requirements are entered into the COBRA model and not understated in implementation costs estimates prior to submitting recommendations to the BRAC Commission.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD did not concur with this recommendation and as of June 2017, DOD stated that no action is expected.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to increase the fidelity of the initial cost estimates that DOD submits with its recommendations to the BRAC Commission for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to establish a process for ensuring that information technology requirements associated with candidate recommendations that are heavily reliant on such technology have been identified to the extent required to accomplish the associated mission, before recommendations and cost estimates are submitted to the BRAC Commission.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD partially concurred. As of June 2017, DOD stated that this action on this recommendation is awaiting authorization of a future BRAC round, and Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to increase the fidelity of the initial cost estimates that DOD submits with its recommendations to the BRAC Commission for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to ensure that, during the development and comparison of BRAC scenarios, all anticipated BRAC implementation costs--such as relocating personnel and equipment--are considered and included in the COBRA model when comparing alternatives and generating cost estimates.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD did not concur and as of June 2017 stated that no action is expected.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to increase confidence in the fidelity of the cost estimates that DOD submits to the BRAC Commission for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to take steps to ensure that COBRA's standard factor for information technology is updated and based on technological developments since the most recent COBRA update.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. As of June 2017, DOD stated that this action on this recommendation is awaiting authorization of a future BRAC round, and Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to increase confidence in the fidelity of the cost estimates that DOD submits to the BRAC Commission for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to update COBRA guidance to require users to provide a narrative explaining the process, sources, and methods used to develop the data entered into COBRA to develop military personnel positionelimination savings.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. As of June 2017, DOD stated that this action on this recommendation is awaiting authorization of a future BRAC round, and Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to improve planning for measuring the results of implementing the BRAC recommendations for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) to identify appropriate measures of effectiveness and develop a plan to demonstrate the extent to which the department achieved the results intended from the implementation of the BRAC round.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD did not concur with this recommendation and as of June 2017, DOD stated that no action is expected.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to improve planning for measuring the results of implementing the BRAC recommendations for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) to establish a target for eliminating excess capacity in its initiating guidance to high-level department-wide leadership, consistent with the BRAC selection criteria chosen for a future BRAC round.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD did not concur with this recommendation and as of June 2017, DOD stated that no action is expected.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to provide more-complete information and increased visibility into the expected costs and savings for individual BRAC closures or realignments, when planning any potential future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to limit the practice of bundling many potentially stand-alone realignments or closures into single recommendations.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD did not concur with this recommendation and as of June 2017, DOD stated that no action is expected.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to provide more-complete information and increased visibility into the expected costs and savings for individual BRAC closures or realignments, when planning any potential future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to if DOD determines that bundling multiple realignments or closures into one recommendation is appropriate, itemize the costs and savings associated with each major discrete action in its report to the BRAC Commission.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD partially concurred. As of June 2017, DOD stated that this action on this recommendation is awaiting authorization of a future BRAC round, and Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to ensure that the BRAC Commission receives timely access to information supporting BRAC recommendations for its review, the Secretary of Defense should develop a process to ensure that any data-security issues are resolved in time to provide all information to the BRAC Commission in a timely manner by conducting a security review of all BRAC data during DOD's recommendation development process, to include a review of the aggregation of unclassified data for potential security concerns and possible classification if necessary.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. As of June 2017, DOD stated that this action on this recommendation is awaiting authorization of a future BRAC round, and Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Recommendation: If cost savings are to be a goal of any future BRAC round, Congress may wish to consider amending the BRAC statute by elevating the priority DOD and the BRAC Commission give to potential costs and savings as a selection criterion for making base closure and realignment recommendations.

    Agency: Congress
    Status: Open

    Comments: All the Matters for Congressional Consideration are contingent on the implementation of another round of BRAC. As of July 2017, Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Recommendation: If Congress authorizes additional BRAC rounds, it may wish to consider amending BRAC legislation by requiring the Secretary of Defense to formally establish specific goals that the department expects to achieve from a future BRAC process.

    Agency: Congress
    Status: Open

    Comments: All the Matters for Congressional Consideration are contingent on the implementation of another round of BRAC. As of June 2017, Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Recommendation: If Congress authorizes additional BRAC rounds, it may wish to consider amending BRAC legislation by requiring the Secretary of Defense to propose selection criteria as necessary to help achieve those goals, if necessary and appropriate.

    Agency: Congress
    Status: Open

    Comments: All the Matters for Congressional Consideration are contingent on the implementation of another round of BRAC. As of June 2017, Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Recommendation: If Congress decides to authorize a future base closure round, it may want to consider whether to limit or prohibit the BRAC Commission from adding a contingent element to any recommendation and, if permitted, under what conditions.

    Agency: Congress
    Status: Open

    Comments: All the Matters for Congressional Consideration are contingent on the implementation of another round of BRAC. As of June 2017, Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
    Director: Melito, Thomas
    Phone: (202) 512-9601

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To more effectively manage NDF's resources, increase program accountability, and ensure that NDF has the information necessary to improve program performance, the Secretary of State should direct ISN and NDF to periodically and systematically conduct and document program evaluations of NDF.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State concurred with the recommendation. We contacted State in September 2016 to ascertain what it has done to address this recommendation. State responded on February 17, 2017. The Department responded by saying that to date, it has not conducted a formal evaluation of the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund as called for under the Department's evaluation policy.
    Director: Gaffigan, Mark E
    Phone: (202) 512-3841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To help ensure that EM more effectively manages all its projects, the Secretary of Energy should direct the Senior Advisor for Environmental Management and the Director of the Office of Management, as appropriate, to provide the Office of Acquisition and Project Management with information on EM's project classification decisions to ensure that all capital asset projects have been appropriately classified and are managed in accordance with DOE Order 413.3B.

    Agency: Department of Energy
    Status: Open

    Comments: When commenting on our report, DOE agreed with our recommendation. According to agency information provided in March 2017, DOE has ongoing internal discussions to develop and document a policy addressing EM capital asset project and operations activity classifications. However, DOE has not yet established and approved such a policy.
    Director: Martin, Belva M
    Phone: (202)512-3000

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To help inform DOD's use of long-term maintenance contracts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, in coordination with cognizant offices within each of the military departments, to collect and analyze information on the use of long-term maintenance contracts by major weapon system programs.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In providing comments on this report, DOD concurred with this recommendation and has since taken actions which may support the collection and analysis of long-term maintenance contracts. In January 2017, DOD's Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) issued a memorandum stating its intent to update existing policies and systems to prescribe policies and procedures for the conduct of cost estimation and cost analysis for acquisition programs. Among the initiatives discussed in the memorandum is an updated approach to collect sustainment data through Contractor Cost Data Reporting (CCDR) in order to provide better information to support competing sustainment alternatives and approaches. According to officials from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness (MR), this step will expand the data collected from contractors on maintenance contracts and will include reporting on the use of award terms and other incentives for their maintenance contracts in the CCDR system. Data item descriptions for these reports have been developed by the department but have not yet been implemented to support maintenance contract data collection. This guidance is expected to approved by the end of 2017.
    Director: Lepore, Brian J
    Phone: (202)512-3000

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To determine the viability and cost-effectiveness of reducing transmission times for biometrics data, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, through the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, to comprehensively assess and then address, as appropriate, the factors that contribute to transmission time for biometrics data.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In January 2016, DOD published Directive 8521.01E, Defense Biometrics, which directs the Secretary of the Army to measure the health and performance of the DOD Biometrics Enterprise and generate results for the Biometrics Principal Staff Assistant and the DOD Biometrics Executive Committee. OUSD(AT&L) and Army officials also noted that the department is required to obtain a favorable evaluation from the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) and the Army Test and Evaluation Command in order to obtain approval for extending the service life of DOD's authoritative biometric system. These officials note that the tests and evaluations required for such approval will include an assessment of transmission and response times against approved requirements for the biometrics system. However, Marine Corps officials highlighted continued biometrics data transmission and synchronization issues with a currently fielded biometric capability that uses some of the same technology we identified issues with during the course of our review. In Summer 2017, DOD informed GAO that the department will soon issue a report to address these issues, so GAO is keeping this recommendation open until such time as DOD's report becomes available for GAO review.
    Director: White, James R
    Phone: (202)512-3000

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: Congressmay wish to consider amending the Internal Revenue Code to authorize IRS to assess penalties on preparers for failure to comply with section 6011(e)(3).

    Agency: Congress
    Status: Open

    Comments: A bill was introduced on June 28, 2011, which would have amended electronic filing requirements for paid preparers. This included language amending section 6695 of the Internal Revenue Code to include a penalty of $50 for failure to electronically file returns under section 6011 (e)(3). However, this bill was never enacted. As of March 2017, there are no bills pending that would provide IRS with authority to penalize paid preparers for failure to electronically file returns as GAO recommended
    Director: Brown, Orice Williams
    Phone: (202)512-5837

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve strategic planning, performance management, and program oversight within and related to NFIP, the Secretary of DHS should direct the FEMA Administrator to develop a comprehensive workforce plan according to PKEMRA that identifies agency staffing and skills requirements, addresses turnover and staff vacancies, and analyzes FEMA's use of contractors.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: According to FEMA officials, as of July 2016, FEMA is in the process of developing a Workforce Strategic Plan they say will contribute to organizational performance and mission by enabling FEMA to align the overall workforce with strategic priorities. FEMA expected to complete the plan by the first quarter of FY2017. As of December 2016, FEMA officials said they were still working to implement this recommendation and agreed to provide us with an update of their progress.
    Recommendation: To improve FEMA's policies, procedures, and systems for achieving NFIP's program goals, the Secretary of DHS should direct the FEMA Administrator to consider the costs and benefits of implementing an interim system for FEMA and updating its document management policies and procedures while waiting for DHS to implement an agencywide electronic document management system.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: FEMA officials stated that, as of July 2016, FEMA is working to pilot an Electronic Records Management System (ERMS). They said that they expected to have all email records in an electronic state by December 31, 2016, and all records in an electronic state by December 31, 2019. They said that they expect the end state in 2019 to meet the Presidential Directive and NARA guidelines. As of December 2016, FEMA officials said they were still working to implement this recommendation and agreed to provide us with an update of their progress.
    Recommendation: To improve FEMA's policies, procedures, and systems for achieving NFIP's program goals, the Secretary of DHS should direct the FEMA Administrator to establish timelines for and complete the development and implementation of FEMA's revised acquisition process, in line with the DHS Acquisition Directive 102-01, including a rollout process with staff training and a mechanism to better ensure that all acquisitions undergo the necessary reviews.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security
    Status: Open

    Comments: FEMA officials stated that, as of July 2016, a Disaster Acquisitions Response Team (DART) was in place along with metrics in place to monitor the team's success. They said they had also awarded a contract to serve as a contract file repository and that previously scanned contract files would be uploaded by December 31, 2016. As of December 2016, FEMA officials said they were still working to implement this recommendation and agreed to provide us with an update of their progress.
    Director: Farrell, Brenda S
    Phone: (202)512-3604

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To better understand the extent to which deployed DOD civilian employees have access to needed medical care, as appropriate, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Combatant Commander of U.S. Central Command to clarify the level of care that deployed DOD civilian employees can expect in theater, including their eligibility for routine care.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of September 2016, DOD has not taken all the steps to close this recommendation. A DOD official stated that, as a result of changes in theater, there have been changes in guidance regarding medical care and they believe the guidance is clear, but they have not received guidance from the Secretary of Defense directing them to clarify the level of care that deployed civilian employees can expect in theater, including their eligibility for routine care.
    Director: Goldenkoff, Robert N
    Phone: (202)512-2757

    7 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To help improve the effectiveness of the Bureau's outreach and enumeration efforts, especially for HTC populations, should they be used again in the 2020 Census, and to improve the Bureau's marketing/outreach efforts, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs as well as the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to use evaluation results, response rate, and other data to develop a predictive model that would inform decisions on how much and how best to allocate paid media funds for 2020.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: During 2013, the Bureau reported on the agency's assessments of the 2010 communications campaign. The Bureau concluded that extra investment of advertising in certain markets increased awareness of the Census. During 2015, the Bureau conducted research and testing on activities to support planning for the 2020 communications campaign. The Bureau based its testing, in part, on evaluation results of paid media activities the 2010 integrated communications program. In December 2015, the Census Bureau issued a draft Request for Proposal of the 2020 Integrated Communications Contract. According to the Request for Proposal, the contractor will develop a paid media plan based on tests of advertising with target audiences and complete analysis of media buys. The contractor will develop an ad tracking system to help inform decisions on allocating paid media funds for 2020. The Bureau awarded the contract in August 2016. Bureau officials have indicated action on this recommendation is due by December 31, 2017, and as of July 2017, we continue to monitor the Bureau progress in developing its approach for the 2020 Integrated Communications Program.
    Recommendation: To help improve the effectiveness of the Bureau's outreach and enumeration efforts, especially for HTC populations, should they be used again in the 2020 Census, and improve the Bureau's marketing/outreach efforts, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs as well as the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to develop mechanisms to increase coordination and communication between the partnership and local census office staff. Possible actions include offering more opportunities for joint training, establishing protocols for coordination, and more effectively leveraging the partnership contact database to better align partnership outreach activities with local needs.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2011, the Bureau reported on the agency's assessment of the partnership program. According to the Bureau, the Regional Partnership is developing a strategy for the 2020 Census Partnership and Outreach Program. In September 2014, the Bureau's Path to the 2020 Census, identified the Partnership Program as one of the best methods for communicating the importance of response and states its intent to map out details about the Partnership Program in early 2016. In December 2015, the Census Bureau issued a draft Request for Proposal of the 2020 Integrated Communications Contract. According to the Request for Proposal, the Contractor will collaborate with program areas, the Field Division, and regional offices to implement the partnership program. The Bureau awarded the contract in August 2016. As of July 2017, Bureau officials are gathering artifacts that they believe may demonstrate progress with this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To help improve the effectiveness of the Bureau's outreach and enumeration efforts, especially for HTC populations, should they be used again in the 2020 Census, and to improve the Bureau's marketing/outreach efforts, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs as well as the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to improve the user-friendliness of the partnership database to help ensure more timely updates of contact information and enhance its use as a management tool.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2012, the Bureau issued an assessment of the partnership program that highlighted user problems with the partnership database. One of the report's recommendations was to ensure ease of data entry for users of the Integrated Partner Contact Database (IPCD). In 2014, the Bureau reported the agency is continuing to modifications to the Integrated Partner Contact Database (IPCD) system and discussing options for improving the efficiency and usability of the IPCD. In December 2015, the Census Bureau issued a draft Request for Proposal of the 2020 Integrated Communications Contract. According to the Request for Proposal, the Contractor will work closely with the regional offices to implement the partnership program. The Bureau awarded the contract in August 2016. Bureau officials have indicated that action on this recommendation is due by September 30, 2017. As of July 2017, we continue to monitor the Bureau progress in improving the efficiency and usability of its partnership database.
    Recommendation: To help improve the effectiveness of the Bureau's outreach and enumeration efforts, especially for HTC populations, should they be used again in the 2020 Census, and to improve the Bureau's marketing/outreach efforts, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs as well as the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure that promotional materials, including in-language materials for the partnership program, are available when partnership staff are first hired.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2011, the Bureau issued an assessment of the partnership program. One of the report's recommendations was to provide promotional materials that fit partner needs. During April 2014, Bureau reported its staff in the field and communications directorates have plans to review assessments, lessons learned reports and debriefings with key staff, stakeholders, and partners to inform an effective strategy for the development, production, and delivery of promotional materials, including non-English language materials, for the 2020 Census. In December 2015, the Census Bureau issued a draft Request for Proposal of the 2020 Integrated Communications Contract. According to the Request for Proposal, the Contractor will produce materials such as promotional items for partners to use in promoting awareness of the census. The Bureau awarded the contract in August 2016. As of July 2017, Bureau officials are attempting to identify and provide evidence that they met their April 1, 2017 deadline of implementing this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To help improve the effectiveness of the Bureau's outreach and enumeration efforts, especially for HTC populations, should they be used again in the 2020 Census, and to improve some of the Bureau's key efforts to enumerate HTC populations, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs as well as the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to assess visitation, response rate, and other applicable data on Be Counted/QAC locations and use that information to revise site selection guidance for 2020.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: During May 2012 the Bureau reported on its assessment of the Be Counted/ Questionnaire Assistance Center program. The assessment included information on the number of individuals counted and number of location established but did not identify response rates for hard-to enumerate groups. In April 2013, the Bureau reported on its assessment of coverage measurement issues related to hard-to-enumerate populations. In its 2020 Census Operational Plan, issued in October 2015, the Bureau provided a high level overview of reengineered field operations plans and has not provided details on making decisions on special enumeration efforts such as Be Counted. As of July 2017, we continue to monitor the Bureau's plans for special enumeration activities that target hard to enumerate groups, and Bureau officials are gathering artifacts to support implementation of this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To help improve the effectiveness of the Bureau's outreach and enumeration efforts, especially for HTC populations, should they be used again in the 2020 Census, and to improve some of the Bureau's key efforts to enumerate HTC populations, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs as well as the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the factors that led to the staffing issues observed during SBE and take corrective actions to ensure more efficient SBE staffing levels in 2020.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2012, the Bureau issued its assessment of the Service Based Enumeration Program. The assessment reported on the number of individuals counted and the complexities of this special enumeration activity. The assessment did not address the Bureau's approach to staffing this special enumeration activity. In its 2020 Census Operational Plan, issued in October 2015, the Bureau provided a high level overview of reengineered field operations plans and has not provided details on making decisions on special enumeration efforts. As of July 2017, we continue to monitor the Bureau's plans for special enumeration activities that target hard to enumerate groups, and Bureau officials are gathering artifacts to support implementation of this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To help improve the effectiveness of the Bureau's outreach and enumeration efforts, especially for HTC populations, should they be used again in the 2020 Census, and to improve some of the Bureau's key efforts to enumerate HTC populations, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs as well as the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to evaluate the extent to which each special enumeration activity improved the count of traditionally hard-to-enumerate groups and use the results to help inform decision making on spending for these programs in 2020.

    Agency: Department of Commerce
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: In 2012, the Bureau reported on assessments of many 2010 special enumeration activities such as the Service-Based Enumeration and the Be Counted/Questionnaire Assistance Center Programs. These assessments revealed the number of persons counted and spending for the special enumeration activities. Separately, the Bureau issued results of the 2010 Census Coverage Measurement Program that described the level of coverage of various hard-to-enumerate populations generally without attributing coverage to specific enumeration activities. In 2015, the Bureau issued its 2020 Census Operational Plan outlining design changes for enumeration activities. According to the Bureau, the changes are designed to optimize self-response and use administrative records and third party data to reduce field work. However, the Bureau had not provided details of its plans for various special enumeration activities. In April 2017 Bureau officials provided us with evaluation results of its 2010 communication efforts and other documents related to ongoing efforts to reduce errors in the census. As of mid-July 2017, Bureau officials reported they were working to provide other artifacts they believe may demonstrate that recommendation has been addressed.
    Director: White, James
    Phone: (202) 512-3000

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Congress may wish to consider broadening IRS's ability to use math error authority (MEA), with appropriate safeguards against misuse of that authority.

    Agency: Congress
    Status: Open

    Comments: Congress has expanded IRS's math error authority in certain circumstances, but not as broadly as we suggested in February 2010. Congress enacted legislation in December 2015 that expands the circumstances in which IRS may use math error authority. Section 208 of division Q of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113) gives IRS the authority to use math error authority if (1) a taxpayer claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, or the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) during the period in which a taxpayer is not permitted to claim such credit as a consequence of either having made a prior fraudulent or reckless claim; or (2) a taxpayer omitted information required to be reported because the taxpayer made prior improper claims of the Child Tax Credit or the AOTC. While expanding math error authority is consistent with what we recommended Congress consider, we had suggested that math error authority be authorized on a broader basis with appropriate controls rather than on a piecemeal basis. Our previous work has identified additional tax provisions for which expanded math error authority would be helpful, such as the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, Individual Retirement Accounts, and Residential Energy Property Credit. While Congress expanded math error authority for the First-Time Homebuyer Credit in November 2009 and for other individual credits as previously described, we maintain that a broader authorization of math error authority with appropriate controls would enable IRS to correct obvious noncompliance, would be less intrusive and burdensome to taxpayers than audits, and would potentially help taxpayers who underclaim tax benefits to which they are entitled. If Congress decides to extend broader math error authority to IRS, controls may be needed to ensure that this authority is used properly. Our prior work identified potential controls, such as requiring IRS to report on its use of math error authority. The administration also requested that Congress grant the Department of the Treasury regulatory authority to expand IRS's use of math error authority as part of its budget submission for fiscal year 2017. The 114th Congress did not provide Treasury with such authority. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated this change could raise $274 million through fiscal years 2018 through 2026.