Priority Open Recommendations: Department of the Treasury

GAO-22-105633 Published: May 10, 2022. Publicly Released: May 17, 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 22 priority open recommendations for the Department of the Treasury as of May 2022. Many of these recommendations focus on long-standing weaknesses in financial reporting and control. For example, we made 2 recommendations that would improve oversight over billions in COVID relief funds.

Since our previous letter in June 2021, Treasury implemented 3 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In June 2021, GAO identified 21 priority recommendations for the Department of the Treasury. Since then, Treasury has implemented 3 of those recommendations by, among other things, updating its strategy to help reduce payments of the Earned Income Tax Credit to ineligible recipients and improving procedures for preparing the U.S. government's consolidated financial statements. In May 2022, GAO identified 4 additional priority recommendations for Treasury, bringing the total number to 22. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Improving program oversight and controls.
  • Improving cybersecurity.
  • Modernizing the U.S. financial regulatory system.
  • Improving protections for workers' retirement savings.
  • Improving federal financial management.
  • Increasing availability and transparency of government data.

Treasury'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 Michelle Sager at (202) 512-6806 or

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