Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Labor

GAO-21-429PR Published: Jun 29, 2021. Publicly Released: Jul 06, 2021.
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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 where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.

This report outlines our 9 priority open recommendations for the Department of Labor as of June 2021.

For example, we recommended that DOL assess its efforts to address workplace violence against health care workers to determine if additional action is needed.

Since our previous letter in April 2020, DOL has implemented 1 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In April 2020, GAO identified seven priority recommendations for the Department of Labor (DOL). Since then, DOL has implemented one of those recommendations by taking steps to collect better data on how advanced technologies are changing the workplace, which can help DOL and policymakers design training programs that meet the job needs of the future.

In May 2021, GAO identified three additional priority recommendations for DOL, bringing the total number to nine. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • stronger protections for wage earners;
  • enhancing unemployment insurance; 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 Thomas Costa at (202) 512-4769 or

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