Our stock-in-trade is making recommendations to agencies to help improve government operations and reduce costs. And we make a lot of recommendations—as of this month, we have over 4,700 open recommendations.
To help agency leaders focus on the most important challenges facing their departments, we send them letters singling out recommendations that warrant priority attention.
Today, we issued our first set of priority recommendation letters to the Secretaries of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs. And for the first time—in and effort to bring attention to unaddressed recommendations—we are making our letters publicly available.
Nikki Clowers, the Managing Director of our Health Care team, and Elizabeth Field, an acting director in our Defense Capabilities and Management team, joined us in the podcast studio to discuss these first 3 letters:
When we propose changes, agencies do listen. Last year, agencies implemented 77% of our recommendations. But Congress is concerned that some agencies need to do more to fully address our suggestions. We believe that priority recommendation letters can play an important role in spurring progress. Priority recommendations have the greatest potential to help agencies:
- accomplish vital missions, such as those involving public health and safety;
- save money; and
- address challenges highlighted by GAO’s High Risk List and Overlap and Duplication work.
Our letter to DOD contains 91 priority recommendations that fall into 9 major areas
- acquisitions and contract management
- building capacity to drive enterprise-wide business reform
- defense headquarters
- health care
- support infrastructure
- financial management
- preventing sexual harassment
In our letter to HHS, we list 54 priority recommendations including taking steps to improve the accuracy of payments to Medicare Advantage plans, which has the potential to save billions of dollars Our 30 priority recommendations to VA include those focused on ensuring that veterans receive timely health care as VA consolidates its community care programs.
We will send additional letters to following 25 agencies:
You can check on the status of all our open recommendations, including those in our priority recommendation letters, on our website.
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