Priority Open Recommendations:
Department of Commerce
GAO-19-381SP: Published: Apr 23, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 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 21 priority open recommendations for the Department of Commerce as of April 2019.
For example, 2 of our priority recommendations are to help improve federal entrepreneurial assistance programs.
Since our previous letter in April 2018, Commerce implemented 10 of our priority recommendations.
Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority open recommendations for the Department of Commerce
What GAO Found
In April 2018, GAO identified 26 priority recommendations for the Department of Commerce (Commerce). Since then, Commerce has implemented 10 of those recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to improve its management of the 2020 Decennial Census by better positioning itself to make informed decisions about trade-offs among methods and anticipating and mitigating challenges it may face during implementation of the census.
In April 2019, GAO identified 5 additional priority recommendations for Commerce, bringing the total number to 21. These recommendations involve the following areas:
- improving management of the 2020 Decennial Census.
- improving IT workforce planning.
- evaluating programs that support entrepreneurs.
- developing performance metrics for trade adjustment assistance programs.
- improving the effectiveness of the conflict minerals disclosure rule.
- improving the physical security of National Institute of Standards and Technology campuses.
Commerce's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.
Why GAO Did This Study
Priority 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 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 priority recommendations.
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