Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help the federal government save money, address issues on our High Risk List, and significantly improve government operations.
This letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) outlines 40 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, we made 11 recommendations to help OMB create a federal program inventory that would help the public better understand what the government does, what it spends, and what it achieves each year.
OMB implemented 1 recommendation we identified as a priority last year.
We regularly update priority recommendations here.
What GAO Found
In July 2022, GAO identified 44 priority recommendations for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Since then, OMB has implemented 1 of those recommendations by issuing a Controller Alert in October 2022 that helped clarify the distinction between Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act of 2015 requirements and Enterprise Risk Management to ensure fraud risks are appropriately managed. GAO also removed the priority status from 6 other recommendations. These included 1 recommendation related to improving the accuracy of information on Buy America waivers that included the establishment of the BuyAmerican.gov website. We also removed the priority status on 5 recommendations related to improving federal data transparency as a result of OMB efforts to issue additional guidance, provide technical assistance, and clarify governance over the reporting of federal spending data.
In May 2023, GAO identified 3 additional priority recommendations for OMB, bringing the total number to 40. These recommendations involve the following 9 areas:
- Developing a federal program inventory
- Improving government performance
- Increasing availability and transparency of government data
- Improving acquisition management and reducing costs
- Reducing government-wide improper payments
- Strengthening cybersecurity
- Establishing controls for disaster relief
- Improving federal real property asset management
- Improving information management
OMB's continued attention to these issues could yield significant cost savings and other 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.
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