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 35 priority open recommendations for Office of Management and Budget as of April 2020.

For example, we made 7 priority recommendations aimed at improving the accuracy and transparency of federal spending data for the public.

Since our previous letter in April 2019, OMB implemented 6 of our priority recommendations.

OMB priority open recommendations graphic

OMB priority open recommendations graphic

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What GAO Found

In April 2019, GAO identified 31 priority recommendations for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Since then, OMB has implemented 6 of those recommendations by, among other things, issuing guidance that could help reduce improper payments across the federal government, and taking actions that could allow the federal government to better leverage its buying power for land mobile radio equipment which could result in cost savings.

In April 2020, GAO identified 10 additional priority recommendations for OMB, bringing the total number to 35. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Improving government performance.
  • Increasing the transparency of federal spending data.
  • Improving acquisition management and reducing costs.
  • Reducing government-wide improper payments.
  • Strengthening information security.
  • Establishing controls for disaster relief funding.
  • Improving the collection and coordination of federal data on sexual violence.

OMB's continued attention to these issues could yield significant cost savings and other 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 J. Christopher Mihm at (202) 512-6806 or

Full Report