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Released on March 23, 2018
Comparative Effectiveness Research: Activities Funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund
GAO-18-311: Published: Mar 23, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2018.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act established a fund to support research comparing the effectiveness of available treatments. This research can help patients, doctors, and others make decisions to improve health care. We found that the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and Department of Health and Human Services expect to receive about $4 billion from the fund by the end o...
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Actions Needed to Better Assess the Federal Investment[back to top]
GAO-18-290: Published: Mar 23, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2018.
The federal investment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs remained relatively stable from fiscal years 2010 to 2016, although the number of programs declined from 209 to 163 (see figure). While agencies reported that many of the same STEM education programs existed during this time period, the portfolio underwent various changes, including program consol...
Released on March 22, 2018
Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrants: More Information on Their Resettlement Outcomes Would Be Beneficial
GAO-18-107: Published: Feb 20, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2018.
Since fiscal year 2011, about 13,000 Afghan and Iraqi nationals (excluding family members) have resettled in the United States under special immigrant visas (SIV), but limited data on their outcomes are available from the Department of State (State) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). State collects data on SIV holders' resettlement outcomes once—90 days after they arrive. GAO...
Climate-Related Risks: SEC Has Taken Steps to Clarify Disclosure Requirements
GAO-18-188: Published: Feb 20, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2018.
Public companies are required to disclose material risks that could affect their finances or operations in their Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These may include climate-related risks—for example, a need to improve facilities to meet emission requirements. We reviewed steps SEC has taken to clarify companies' climate-related disclosure requirements. Industry representatives told us...
Federal Real Property: Agencies Make Some Use of Telework in Space Planning but Need Additional Guidance
GAO-18-319: Published: Mar 22, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2018.
The 23 civilian Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Act agencies reported various ways of considering and using telework as a space-planning tool, by, for example, implementing desk-sharing for employees who telework in order to relinquish leased space, or increasing the number of staff working in an existing space without increasing its size. All of the 23 agencies discussed telework in the context of...
Financial Technology: Additional Steps by Regulators Could Better Protect Consumers and Aid Regulatory Oversight
GAO-18-254: Published: Mar 22, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2018.
Fintech products—including payments, lending, wealth management, and others—generally provide benefits to consumers, such as convenience and lower costs. For example, fintech robo-advisers offer low cost investment advice provided solely by algorithms instead of humans. Fintech products pose similar risks as traditional products, but their risks may not always be sufficiently addressed by exis...
National Mediation Board: Progress Made on GAO Recommendations, but Actions Needed to Address Management Challenges
GAO-18-301: Published: Mar 22, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2018.
The National Mediation Board (NMB), which facilitates labor relations for railroads and airlines, has implemented five of the eight recommendations GAO made in its December 2013 and February 2016 reports (see table). The three remaining recommendations—on information security, information privacy, and rail grievance arbitration—are not yet fully implemented.Regarding information security, GAO...
Rental Assistance Demonstration: HUD Needs to Take Action to Improve Metrics and Ongoing Oversight
GAO-18-123: Published: Feb 20, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2018.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) put procedures in place to evaluate and monitor the impact of conversion of public housing properties under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. RAD's authorizing legislation requires HUD to assess and publish findings about the amount of private-sector leveraging. HUD uses a variety of metrics to measure conversion outcomes. But,...
VA Disability Benefits: Improved Planning Practices Would Better Ensure Successful Appeals Reform[back to top]
GAO-18-352: Published: Mar 22, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2018.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) plan for implementing a new disability appeals process while attending to appeals in the current process addresses most, but not all, elements required by the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (Act). VA's appeals plan addresses 17 of 22 required elements, partially addresses 4, and does not address 1. For example, not addressed is t...
Released on March 20, 2018
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Additional Action Needed to Improve Process for Billing Licensees[back to top]
GAO-18-318: Published: Mar 8, 2018. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 2018.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspects and licenses nuclear power plants and other civilian uses of radioactive material. It charges licensees to recover the cost of these efforts. In fiscal 2016, for example, it collected about $321 million in related fees. We reviewed NRC's billing process and found it is taking steps to address problems that earlier audits and some licensees identified, su...