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Released on January 18, 2019
Housing Finance: Prolonged Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Prompt Need for Reform[back to top]
GAO-19-239: Published: Jan 18, 2019. Publicly Released: Jan 18, 2019.
Housing Finance: Prolonged Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Prompt Need for Reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issue mortgage-backed securities, which let lenders use investor cash for mortgage loans. When people default on the mortgages backing these securities—as many did in the 2007–2009 financial crisis—these issuers can take a hit. So, in 2008, the federal government took...
Released on January 17, 2019
Climate Change: Activities of Selected Agencies to Address Potential Impact on Global Migration
GAO-19-166: Published: Jan 17, 2019. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2019.
Climate change may increase the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, which could drive people around the world from their homes. We found that, while the State Department, USAID, and DOD haven’t focused on the link between climate change and migration, State identified migration as a risk in one of its climate change risk assessments in early 2017. However, State later changed its app...
Defense Management: DOD Needs to Implement Statutory Requirements and Identify Resources for Its Cross-Functional Reform Teams
GAO-19-165: Published: Jan 17, 2019. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2019.
DOD's organizational and management challenges have made it hard for the department to find efficiencies and cut costs. To address this issue, DOD created 9 teams of experts from various DOD offices to reform the department's business processes (such as health care and financial management). We found that these teams identified 135 reform initiatives, such as consolidating IT systems, but 104 of...
Drug Control: DOD Should Improve Its Oversight of the National Guard Counterdrug Program
GAO-19-27: Published: Jan 17, 2019. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2019.
The National Guard counterdrug program has supported domestic law enforcement counterdrug activities for more than 30 years. In our review of the program, we found: DOD's strategy is out of date and doesn't reflect current drug threats. In 2014, the National Guard rescinded its guidance for states on how to operate and administer the program—and hasn't replaced it yet. DOD has funded state c...
Military and Veteran Support: Detailed Inventory of Federal Programs to Help Servicemembers Achieve Civilian Employment
GAO-19-97R: Published: Jan 17, 2019. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2019.
We identified the available education and employment benefits to help servicemembers, veterans, and their families achieve civilian jobs. We found 11 agencies offering 45 programs. A 12th agency also administered a tax exclusion for GI Bill benefits, which allows recipients to exclude these benefits from their taxable income. We found no existing inventory that could easily give Congress or poten...
Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act: TSA Generally Addressed Requirements, but Could Improve Reporting on Security-Related Technology[back to top]
GAO-19-96: Published: Jan 17, 2019. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2019.
Security technologies—such as body scanners and explosives detection systems—are a crucial and often expensive part of TSA's work. To help ensure that TSA's technology purchases are strategic and efficient, Congress required TSA to justify technology acquisitions costing more than $30 million at least 30 days before awarding a contract. This particular requirement stems from a 2014 law, but...
Released on January 15, 2019
Bureau of Reclamation: Water Reuse Grant Program Supports Diverse Projects and Is Managed Consistently with Federal Regulations
GAO-19-110: Published: Dec 13, 2018. Publicly Released: Jan 15, 2019.
Population growth and drought are among the factors taxing the U.S. water supply, particularly in the West. Reuse or recycling of wastewater that is typically unusable can help boost supplies. Water can be treated and then put to work in many ways, including irrigating parks and farms, and cooling power plants. A Bureau of Reclamation program awards grants to water districts and other project spo...
Health Information Technology: Approaches and Challenges to Electronically Matching Patients' Records across Providers
GAO-19-197: Published: Jan 15, 2019. Publicly Released: Jan 15, 2019.
Health care providers increasingly share records electronically. It can be hard to match records to the right patient, and mistakes can have consequences. For example, a doctor might use information from the wrong record when treating a patient. Inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistently formatted data can make record-matching difficult. These data problems can happen for many reasons, e.g., a pat...
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Actions Needed to Better Measure and Address Retailer Trafficking[back to top]
GAO-19-167: Published: Dec 14, 2018. Publicly Released: Jan 15, 2019.
Millions of households rely on the $64 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, to buy food. But some stores are defrauding the program by "selling" cash instead of food. For example, a store might give a person $50 in exchange for $100 in benefits—then pocket the difference. How widespread is this "retailer trafficking"? The Food and Nutrition Service (...