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Road Map for Improvements: GAO’s Transition Webpage Flags Ways to Improve Government, Save Money

WASHINGTON, DC (December 1, 2020) – The 117th Congress and the incoming Presidential administration will be taking office in a time that presents significant challenges to the government. Today the U.S. Government Accountability Office launched a new webpage dedicated to informing incoming lawmakers and administration officials about major challenges facing the federal government, as well as possible solutions.

This Presidential and Congressional Transition webpage identifies issues needing urgent attention.  The webpage includes links to a number of resources, such as GAO’s priority recommendations across government, to bring elected officials up to speed on options for improving vital government services or achieving significant savings for taxpayers.  Users can locate issues by topic and by agency, and a find-an-expert tool will connect them with GAO staff who can provide insights on specific agencies or programs.

“GAO is pulling together this information and our priority recommendations so that new and returning lawmakers and Presidential appointees can tackle critical challenges facing the nation, including the coronavirus pandemic,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and the head of GAO. “GAO has drawn on its tremendous experience examining federal programs to identify a range of pressing issues facing our nation. We believe that lawmakers and appointees will find our transition webpage helpful in prioritizing policy matters and developing oversight agendas.”

The online transition material includes GAO work on a number of national issues such as the coronavirus pandemic, federal responses to economic downturns, and race in America, and provides resources and recommendations to spur progress in addressing them.  It also highlights GAO work examining shortcomings in the federal government’s ability to meet the needs of the American people in a rapidly changing world.  This includes weaknesses in such areas as human capital management and investment in information technology.  More broadly, GAO remains concerned about the federal government’s fiscal outlook due to the growing debt and the lack of a long-term fiscal plan to help control it.

Links are provided to various GAO resources, including:

  • The High Risk List of areas across government vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement or needing broad-based transformation.
  • The annual Fiscal Health report detailing the government’s unsustainable fiscal path and components of a needed comprehensive plan.
  • The annual report on opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication, as well as reduce costs and increase revenue for the federal government.
  • “Priority Recommendations” GAO has highlighted across agencies because they focus on the most important challenges facing each agency, with the greatest potential to help accomplish vital missions or to save money.

The Transition webpage also provides access to GAO’s Key Issues pages, which highlight relevant GAO work on a wide range of national challenges.  Users can explore issues by topic or by agency.  In addition, GAO’s Find an Expert tool can connect users with GAO audit staff able to provide a quick answer to a question or even provide a full briefing.

For more information, contact Sarah Kaczmarek, Director of GAO Public Affairs, at or (202) 512-4800.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.

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GAO Cites Need for More Transparency Around Vaccine Development and Testing, in Unemployment Numbers, and the Urgent Need to Address Medical Supply Shortages in New CARES Act Report


Washington, D.C. (November 30, 2020) –The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued its fourth report on the implementation of the CARES Act and other pandemic relief measures.  To help improve the nation’s response, GAO is making 11 new recommendations for agencies and is raising one matter for congressional consideration.