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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Transportation

GAO-23-106477 Published: May 09, 2023. Publicly Released: May 16, 2023.
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Fast Facts

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 U.S. Department of Transportation outlines 20 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, in January 2023, we recommended that DOT develop a comprehensive strategy to safely integrate drones into the national airspace.

DOT implemented 1 recommendation we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

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

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What GAO Found

In July 2022, GAO identified 16 priority recommendations for the Department of Transportation (DOT). Since then, DOT has implemented 1 of those recommendations by taking actions to clearly define and document emergency repair decisions, which provides greater oversight of federal funds.

In May 2023, GAO identified 5 additional priority recommendations for DOT, bringing the total number to 20. 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, and

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

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