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Released on July 18, 2018
Civil Penalties: Certain Federal Agencies Need to Improve Inflation Adjustment Reporting
GAO-18-519: Published: Jul 18, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 2018.
The authority of federal agencies to assess and collect civil monetary penalties is a powerful method for enforcing regulatory policies and deterring violations. In 2017, federal agencies assessed millions of dollars in civil monetary penalties for violations of statutory requirements, such as phone calls that violated federal telemarketing law and failure to report suspicious orders for controlle...
DNA Evidence: Preliminary Observations on DOJ's DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Grant Program
GAO-18-651T: Published: Jul 18, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 2018.
Many state and local crime labs across the country have backlogs of requests for DNA analysis of crime scene evidence. Since 2011, the Department of Justice has awarded nearly $500 million to states and localities through a grant program to help reduce DNA evidence backlogs. This testimony covers preliminary observations and analyses from our ongoing review of the program. For example, we found...
Drug Discount Program: Characteristics of Hospitals Participating and Not Participating in the 340B Program
GAO-18-521R: Published: Jun 18, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 2018.
The 340B Program allows certain types of hospitals to get discounted drugs. We compared characteristics of hospitals that did and did not participate in the program, focusing on the three types that comprised over 95% of participants in 2016. We also looked at the effects of Medicaid expansion on 340B participation and other characteristics such as rates of charity care (provided to patients who...
Reverse Auctions: Additional Guidance Could Help Increase Benefits and Reduce Fees
GAO-18-446: Published: Jul 18, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 2018.
To buy goods or services, the government sometimes uses "reverse auctions" where vendors bid against each other with lower prices to win a contract. We found reverse auctions often led to a vendor bidding more than once with a lower price, and may have saved the government up to $100 million in 2016. They also were easy to use. However, most contracting officers we interviewed did not fully unde...
Securities Regulation: SEC Inspections of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's Governance Were Consistent with Internal Guidance[back to top]
GAO-18-522: Published: Jul 18, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 2018.
Since fiscal year 2015, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) examinations of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) covered each of the 10 areas specified in Section 964 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), such as governance, funding, and transparency. The most commonly covered area was FINRA examinations of its members.Selected...
Released on July 17, 2018
Federal Advertising: Contracting with Small Disadvantaged Businesses and Those Owned by Minorities and Women Has Increased in Recent Years
GAO-18-554: Published: Jul 17, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2018.
The federal government is one of the country's largest advertisers, spending nearly $1 billion annually on advertising contracts. As it does for virtually all of the products and services it buys, the government seeks to provide procurement opportunities for these contracts to certain socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses and to businesses of any size owned by minorities and wo...
Federal Student Aid: Education's Postsecondary School Certification Process
GAO-18-481: Published: Jul 17, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2018.
The Department of Education (Education) is responsible for evaluating a variety of information to determine whether a postsecondary school should be certified to administer federal student aid programs, and agency data show that it approves most schools that apply. Education procedures instruct regional office staff to review school policies, financial statements, and compliance audits prepared by...
Government Auditing Standards 2018 Revision (Supersedes GAO-12-331G)
GAO-18-568G: Published: Jul 17, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2018.
The Yellow Book provides standards and guidance for auditors and audit organizations, outlining the requirements for audit reports, professional qualifications for auditors, and audit organization quality control. Auditors of federal, state, and local government programs use these standards to perform their audits and produce their reports.Effective Date The 2018 revision of the Yellow Book is e...
K-12 Education: Lead Testing of School Drinking Water Would Benefit from Improved Federal Guidance
GAO-18-382: Published: Jul 5, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2018.
We surveyed school districts across the country on testing for lead in drinking water in 2017. Based on our nationally generalizable survey, we estimate that: 41% of districts, serving 12 million students, had not tested for lead in the 12 months before completing our survey. 43% of districts, serving 35 million students, tested for lead. Of those, 37% found elevated levels and reduced or elimin...
Medicare: Actions Needed to Better Manage Fraud Risks[back to top]
GAO-18-660T: Published: Jul 17, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2018.
Medicare improper payments were estimated to be about $52 billion in fiscal year 2017. As program spending increases, the cost of fraud could increase as well. Are the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services doing enough to prevent, detect, and combat Medicare fraud? Our 2017 report showed that some of CMS's fraud risk management practices aligned with leading practices, while others could be im...