Priority Open Recommendations:
Department of the Treasury
GAO-19-325SP: Published: Apr 3, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 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 25 priority open recommendations for the Department of the Treasury as of April 2019.
About half of these recommendations are to improve processes for preparing the Financial Report of the U.S. Government.
Since our previous letter in April 2018, Treasury implemented 2 of our priority recommendations.
Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the Department of the Treasury
What GAO Found
In April 2018, GAO identified 24 priority recommendations for the Department of the Treasury (Treasury). Since then, Treasury has implemented two of those recommendations. Treasury updated its analysis of potential unexpended balances by estimating future expenditures of the Making Home Affordable program. Treasury also established a process to determine whether required agencies are submitting spending data in accordance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act).
In March 2019, GAO identified three additional priority recommendations for Treasury, bringing the total number to 25. These recommendations involve the following areas:
- Modernizing the U.S. financial regulatory system
- Improving federal financial management
- Evaluating the performance and effectiveness of tax expenditures
- Improving information technology workforce planning
- Improving cybersecurity
- Improving interagency coordination to address national security concerns
- Implementing the DATA Act Treasury's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.
Treasury’s continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.
Why GAO Did This Study
Priority recommendations are open 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.