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Priority Open Recommendations: General Services Administration

GAO-19-317SP Published: Apr 10, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 2019.
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Fast Facts

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 the General Services Administration as of April 2019.

Implementing the priority recommendations would improve cybersecurity and real property management.

Since our previous letter in February 2018, GSA implemented 2 of our priority recommendations.


Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the General Services Administration

Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the General Services Administration

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What GAO Found

In February 2018, GAO identified five priority recommendations for the General Services Administration (GSA). Since then, GSA has implemented two of those recommendations by, among other things, improving security-review and information-sharing protocols for stakeholders of high-security federal space, and reaching an inter-agency agreement clarifying roles and responsibilities for federal security.

In February 2019, GAO identified two additional priority recommendations for GSA, bringing the total number to five. These recommendations involve the four following areas:

  • improving decision-making related to the Department of Homeland Security headquarters consolidation, 
  • reducing costs associated with new leases, 
  • estimating the operations and maintenance costs of design choices for new buildings, and 
  • enhancing cybersecurity protection of critical infrastructure.

GSA's implementation of these recommendations 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 that funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing priority recommendations.

For more information, contact Dan Bertoni at (202) 512-2834 or

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Critical infrastructureCybersecurityFederal buildingsFederal facilitiesFederal propertyFederal property managementHigh-risk issuesOperations and maintenanceReal propertyHomeland security