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Priority Open Recommendations: Office of Management and Budget

GAO-21-567PR Published: Jun 24, 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 44 priority open recommendations for the Office of Management and Budget as of June 2021. For example, we made 5 recommendations to OMB to help it assist agencies in leveraging their buying power, saving taxpayer dollars, and eliminating duplicative contracts.

Since our previous letter in April 2020, OMB implemented 4 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In April 2020, GAO identified 35 priority recommendations for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Since then, OMB has implemented four of those recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to help reduce improper payments across the federal government and improve the quality of agency spending data.

In June 2021, GAO identified 13 additional priority recommendations for OMB, bringing the total number to 44. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Improving government performance.
  • Increasing availability and transparency of government data.
  • Improving acquisition management and reducing costs.
  • Reducing government-wide improper payments.
  • Strengthening information security.
  • Establishing controls for disaster relief.
  • Improving oversight of agency collection and coordination of federal data on sexual violence.
  • Improving federal real property asset management.
  • Improving information management.

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 Michelle Sager at (202) 512-6806 or

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Agency evaluationsAsset managementBudgetsChief information officersCompliance oversightDisaster reliefFederal acquisition regulationsFederal agenciesFederal assistance programsFinancial managementHigh-risk issuesImproper paymentsInformation securityInternal controlsInventoryLetter contractsProgram transparencyReal propertySexual violenceTax expenditures