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Priority Open Recommendations: U.S. Agency for International Development

GAO-21-456PR Published: May 17, 2021. Publicly Released: May 24, 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 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 3 priority open recommendations for the U.S. Agency for International Development as of May 2021.

For example, in June 2020, we recommended that USAID ensure that its office that oversees diversity can perform required Equal Employment Opportunity activities.

Since our previous letter in April 2020, USAID has implemented 3 of our priority recommendations.

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GAO's 2021 priority open recommendations for the U.S. Agency for International Development

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What GAO Found

In April 2020, GAO identified three priority recommendations for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Since then, USAID has implemented all three of those recommendations by taking actions to improve management and oversight of international food assistance projects, project performance data collection, and reform efforts.

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

  • Complying with Equal Employment Opportunity requirements
  • Improving financial information

USAID'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 Melito at (202) 512-9601 or

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Civil rightsDemographic dataEqual employment opportunityFinancial informationForeign assistanceHigh-risk issuesInternational food assistanceInternational relationsSocial mediaGovernment operations