Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Labor

GAO-20-445PR Published: Apr 14, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 2020.
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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 7 priority open recommendations for the Department of Labor as of April 2020. For example, we recommended that Labor improve how it collects and uses data to identify and track the impact of advanced technologies on the U.S. workforce.

Since our previous letter in April 2019, Labor implemented one of our priority recommendations.

Department of Labor Priority Recommendations Graphic

Department of Labor Priority Recommendations Graphic

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What GAO Found

In April 2019, GAO identified six priority open recommendations for the Department of Labor (DOL). Since then, DOL has implemented one of those recommendations. To address this recommendation, the agency issued a report that considered providing fiduciary relief to retirement plan sponsors to offer a mix of retirement income options.

In April 2020, GAO identified two additional open priority recommendations for DOL, bringing the total number to seven. 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.

For more information, contact Cindy Brown Barnes at (202) 512-7215 or

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