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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Labor

GAO-22-105621 Published: Jul 07, 2022. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2022.
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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 12 priority open recommendations for the Department of Labor as of June 2022. 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 June 2021, DOL implemented 2 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In June 2021, GAO identified nine priority recommendations for the Department of Labor (DOL). Since then, DOL implemented two recommendations by monitoring affirmative action program plans from covered federal contractors and subcontractors for compliance with equal employment opportunity requirements, and helping ensure that individuals have access to consolidated online information about their multiple 401(k) plan accounts. We closed two other recommendations as not implemented on OSHA's oversight processes for COVID-19-adapted enforcement methods because the agency is no longer planning to conduct such oversight.

In July 2022, GAO identified seven additional priority recommendations for DOL, bringing the total number to twelve. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • stronger protections for wage earners, and
  • enhancing unemployment insurance.

DOL's 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 Cindy Brown Barnes (202) 512-7215 or

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Compliance oversightHigh-risk issuesLabor forcepandemicsUnemployment insuranceVeteransWorkersWorkplace violenceCoal minesWorkplace safety and health