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Priority Open Recommendations: General Services Administration

GAO-20-533PR Published: May 06, 2020. Publicly Released: May 13, 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 8 priority open recommendations for the General Services Administration (GSA) as of May 2020.

For example, we recommended that GSA improve how it estimates the operations and maintenance costs of design choices for new buildings.

Since our previous letter in April 2019, GSA implemented 1 of our priority recommendations.

Open priority recommendations graphic

Open priority recommendations graphic

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What GAO Found

In April 2019, GAO identified five priority recommendations for the General Services Administration (GSA). Since then, GSA has implemented one of those recommendations by, among other things, submitting risk management reports for cybersecurity to the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget.

In May 2020, GAO identified four additional priority recommendations for GSA, bringing the total number to eight. These recommendations involve the following six areas:

  • Improving decision-making related to the Department of Homeland Security's headquarters consolidation,
  • Reducing fees associated with financing tenant improvements for new leases,
  • Estimating the operations and maintenance costs of design choices for new buildings,
  • Addressing the accuracy of publicly available street address information,
  • Addressing the reliability of information used to calculate reported cost savings for GSA's broker program,
  • Improving cybersecurity risk management GSA'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's 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 Dan Bertoni at (202) 512-2834 or

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Cost controlCost savingsCybersecurityData collectionData integrityDecision makingFederal buildingsFederal propertyFederal property managementOperations and maintenanceReal estate leasesReal propertyReal property managementRisk management