Priority Open Recommendations: Department of the Treasury

GAO-20-549PR Published: Apr 23, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 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 31 priority open recommendations for the Department of the Treasury as of April 2020.

Twelve are to improve the Financial Report of the U.S. Government to provide information the government needs to make federal financial decisions.

Since our previous letter in April 2019, Treasury implemented 4 of our priority recommendations.

Department of the Treasury Priority Recommendations graphic

Department of the Treasury Priority Recommendations graphic

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What GAO Found

In April 2019, GAO identified 25 priority recommendations for the Department of the Treasury (Treasury). Since then, Treasury has implemented 4 of those recommendations by, among other things, reducing the need for significant adjustments to federal entity data for preparing U.S. Consolidated Financial Statements. GAO also removed the priority designation from one recommendation because it became a lower priority due to the passage of time.

In April 2020, GAO identified 11 additional priority recommendations for Treasury, bringing the total number to 31. These open recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Modernizing the U.S. financial regulatory system
  • Improving federal financial management
  • Evaluating the performance and effectiveness of tax expenditures
  • Improving information technology workforce planning
  • Improving cybersecurity
  • Improving interagency coordination to address national security concerns
  • Implementing the DATA Act

Full implementations of these open recommendations could significantly improve Treasury's 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, Managing Director, Strategic Issues, at or 202-512-6806.

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