Priority Open Recommendations:
Department of Labor
GAO-19-395SP: 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 6 priority open recommendations for the Department of Labor as of April 2019.
For example, we recommended that the Department assess its efforts to prevent workplace violence in health care facilities.
Since our previous letter in April 2018, the Department has implemented 2 of our priority recommendations.
Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the Department of Labor
What GAO Found
In April 2018, GAO identified 6 priority open recommendations for the Department of Labor (DOL). Since then, DOL has implemented 2 of those recommendations. To address one of these recommendations, the agency took action to strengthen the fertilizer industry's compliance with regulations to reduce the potential for related future catastrophic incidents involving hazardous chemicals. To implement another recommendation, DOL took steps to establish a more coordinated strategic approach among federal agencies to monitor and enforce free trade agreement (FTA) labor provisions, improving the U.S. government's capacity to hold FTA partners accountable for compliance with labor provisions.
In March 2019, GAO identified 2 additional open priority recommendations for DOL, bringing the total number to 6. These recommendations involve the following areas:
- stronger protections for wage earners;
- potential reductions in improper payments; and
- better protections for retirees.
DOL'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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