Skip to main content

Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Commerce

GAO-22-105684 Published: Jul 15, 2022. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2022.
Jump To:

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 16 priority open recommendations for the Department of Commerce as of July 2022. These recommendations cover topics including ensuring the nation's cybersecurity, managing the radio-frequency spectrum, and managing climate change risks.

Since our previous letter in June 2021, the Department of Commerce implemented 1 of our priority recommendations.

Browse by agency.

Graphic that says, "GAO's Priority Open Recommendations" and includes the Commerce seal.

Skip to Highlights


What GAO Found

In June 2021, GAO identified 11 priority recommendations for the Department of Commerce (Commerce). Since then, Commerce has implemented one of those recommendations by taking significant steps to ensure Census Bureau corrective actions for cybersecurity weaknesses were implemented within prescribed timeframes for the decennial census.

Additionally, Commerce had two priority recommendations that will remain open for the 2030 Census, but are no longer a priority in 2022 because action on these recommendations does not need to occur until later in the 10-year decennial cycle.

In July 2022, GAO identified 8 additional priority recommendations for Commerce, bringing the total number to 16. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Conflict minerals rule,
  • Decennial Census,
  • Ensuring the cybersecurity of the nation,
  • Information technology management and workforce planning,
  • International trade,
  • Managing climate change risks, and
  • Managing the radio frequency spectrum.

Full implementation of these open recommendations could significantly improve Commerce'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 Michelle Sager at (202) 512-6806 or

Full Report

GAO Contacts

Office of Public Affairs


CensusClimate changeCybersecurityDecennial censusInternational tradeIT managementMineralsRadio frequencyWorkforce planningHigh-risk issues