Skip to main content

Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Justice

GAO-22-105703 Published: Jun 02, 2022. Publicly Released: Jun 09, 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 10 priority open recommendations for the Department of Justice (DOJ) as of June 2022.

The recommendations relate to opioids, the federal prison system, whistleblowers, immigration courts, cybersecurity, and improper payments.

Since our previous letter in June 2021, DOJ implemented 4 of our priority recommendations.

Browse by agency.

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

Skip to Highlights


What GAO Found

In June 2021, GAO identified 12 priority recommendations for the Department of Justice (DOJ). Since then, DOJ has implemented four of those recommendations. Its efforts included more proactively identifying problematic drug transactions and successfully developing and improving its efforts to assess its use of industry-reported drug data. DOJ also established a cybersecurity risk management strategy and defined and documented its approach to coordination between its cybersecurity and enterprise risk management functions, improving its identification of acceptable risk levels and response strategies, and better ensuring that cyber risks are incorporated into department-level risk mitigation activities.

In June 2022, GAO identified two additional priority recommendations for DOJ, bringing the total number to 10. The 10 recommendations fall into the following areas:

  • Efforts to combat illicit opioid abuse.
  • Federal prison system.
  • FBI whistleblower retaliation complaints.
  • Immigration courts.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Improper payments.

DOJ'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 Charles M. Johnson, Jr. at (202) 512-8777 or

Full Report

GAO Contacts

Office of Public Affairs


CybersecurityFederal prisonsHigh-risk issuesHomeland securityHuman capital managementImproper paymentsLaw enforcementRisk assessmentFederal agenciesImmigration