Priority Open Recommendations:
U.S. Agency for International Development
GAO-19-421SP: 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 5 priority open recommendations for USAID as of April 2019.
For example, in March 2014 we recommended that USAID collect data on delivery time frames for all emergency food aid shipments to help it meet its goal of delivery times in a cost-effective manner.
Since our previous letter in February 2018, USAID implemented 3 of our priority recommendations.
Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the U.S. Agency for International Development
What GAO Found
In February 2018, GAO identified eight priority recommendations for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Since then, USAID has implemented three of those recommendations, taking actions we believe have improved USAID’s financial oversight of U.S. humanitarian assistance programs in Syria and mitigated the risk of fraud by third-party monitoring services.
USAID has five open priority recommendations remaining from those we identified in our February 2018 letter. All five of the recommendations involve the management of food aid projects. Three recommendations involve the prepositioning of food aid that could reduce delivery time frames, and two recommendations involve collecting data to enhance oversight of partners’ costs associated with implementing or supporting development and emergency food aid.
USAID’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 couldsave 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 that 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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