Priority Open Recommendations:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
GAO-19-312SP: 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 11 priority open recommendations for U.S. Department of Agriculture as of April 2019.
For example, we recommended that USDA coordinate with the Food and Drug Administration regarding drug residue testing methods in imported seafood to better protect the food supply.
Since our previous letter in March 2018, USDA implemented 2 of our priority recommendations.
Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture
What GAO Found
In March 2018, GAO identified 11 open priority recommendations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Since then, USDA has implemented 2 of those recommendations by, among other things, improving its oversight of U.S. in-kind food aid.
In April 2019, GAO identified 2 additional priority recommendations for USDA, bringing the total number to 11. These recommendations involve the following areas:
- protecting the safety of the food supply
- reducing improper payments
- strengthening protections for wage earners
- improving USDA’s oversight of federal assistance and awards
- improving cybersecurity
USDA’s continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.
Why GAO Did This Study
Priority recommendations are open GAO’s recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation couldsave large amounts of money; improve congressional or executive branch decision making on major issues; and eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.
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