Skip to main content

Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Transportation

GAO-22-105721 Published: Jul 12, 2022. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 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 U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as of May 2022.

For example, in December 2020, we recommended that DOT assess skill gaps in its workforce to ensure that its staff can effectively oversee the safety of automated technologies.

Since our previous letter in June 2021, DOT implemented 2 of our priority recommendations.

Browse by agency.

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

Skip to Highlights



What GAO Found

In April 2020, GAO identified 16 priority recommendations for the Department of Transportation (DOT). Since then, DOT has implemented 2 of those recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to assess the effectiveness of its efforts to improve airport terminal-area safety and forming an executive council and steering committee to oversee an aviation safety compliance program.

In July 2022, GAO identified 2 additional priority recommendations for DOT, bringing the total number to 16. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • developing comprehensive plans.
  • addressing safety risks.
  • reducing fraud and abuse risks.
  • improving transparency and communication.
  • managing cybersecurity risks and information technology.
  • improving climate resilience.

DOT'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 David Trimble at (202) 512-2834 or


Full Report

GAO Contacts

Office of Public Affairs


ClimateCommunicationCybersecurityFraud and abuseInformation technologyProgram transparencyPublic roads or highwaysSafetyTransportationHigh-risk issues