Priority Open Recommendations:
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
GAO-19-310SP: Published: Apr 4, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2019.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
This report outlines our 4 priority open recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as of April 2019.
For example, we recommended that NRC set goals for the size and skills of its workforce. NRC improved individual offices’ plans, but needs to set longer term, agency-wide goals.
Since our previous letter in March 2018, NRC implemented 1 of our priority recommendations.
Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
What GAO Found
In March 2018, GAO identified 5 priority recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Since then, NRC has implemented 1 of those recommendations by assessing the effectiveness of its trustworthiness and reliability process by which licensees approve employees for unescorted access to high-risk radiological sources at industrial facilities and providing licenses with additional guidance.
GAO has not identified additional priority recommendations for NRC for the April 2019 letter, bringing the total number to 4. These recommendations involve the following areas:
- addressing the security of radiological sources.
- improving the reliability of cost estimates.
- improving strategic human capital management.
NRC's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.
Why GAO Did This Study
Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.
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