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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Defense

GAO-22-105664 Published: Aug 12, 2022. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 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 84 priority open recommendations for the Department of Defense as of July 2022. For example, we made recommendations related to acquisitions and contract management, rebuilding readiness, and financial management.

Since our previous letter in August 2021, DOD implemented 12 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In August 2021, GAO identified 81 priority open recommendations for the Department of Defense (DOD). Since then, DOD has implemented 12 of those recommendations, leading to improvements in financial management, cybersecurity, and Navy readiness, among other areas. Additionally, GAO closed one priority recommendation related to DOD enterprise-wide business reform as unimplemented because the recommendation was no longer relevant. GAO also removed one priority recommendation related to headquarters resources and one priority recommendation related to acquisition programs because they no longer warranted priority attention. Thus, reducing the number of remaining priority open recommendations to 66.

In July 2022, GAO identified 18 additional priority recommendations for DOD, bringing the total number to 84. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • acquisitions and contract management;
  • rebuilding readiness and force structure;
  • financial management;
  • driving enterprise-wide business reform;
  • cybersecurity and the information environment;
  • health care;
  • preventing sexual harassment; and
  • strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion within DOD.

DOD's continued attention to these issues could lead to further improvements in the department's 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 Cathleen A. Berrick at (202) 512-3404 or

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