Skip to main content

Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Homeland Security

GAO-23-106483 Published: Jun 23, 2023. Publicly Released: Jul 05, 2023.
Jump To:

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 DHS outlines 42 open recommendations that it should prioritize. The recommendations relate to emergency preparedness, border and transportation security, infrastructure, cybersecurity and IT, chemical security, countering violent extremism, and domestic intelligence and information sharing.

DHS implemented 14 recommendations we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

Graphic with  "GAO's Priority Open Recommendations" as the title and the Department of Homeland Security seal at the bottom right corner

Skip to Highlights


What GAO Found

In July 2022, GAO identified 46 priority recommendations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Since then, DHS has implemented 14 of those recommendations leading to improvements in National Flood Insurance Program management, disaster recovery response, noncitizen processing at the southwest border, U.S. Coast Guard asset management, and cybersecurity and IT management, among other areas.

In June 2023, GAO identified 10 additional priority recommendations for DHS, bringing the total number to 42. The 42 recommendations fall into the following areas:

  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Border security
  • Transportation security
  • Infrastructure and management
  • Information technology and cybersecurity
  • Chemical security
  • Countering violent extremism
  • Domestic intelligence and information sharing

DHS'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

Office of Public Affairs


Best practicesBorder controlChildrenCompliance oversightCritical infrastructure protectionCybersecurityDisaster recoveryDisastersFederal assistance programsFlood insuranceFloodsHigh-risk issuesHomeland securityHuman capital managementImmigrationInformation sharingInformation technologyInternal controlsLabor forceRisk assessmentRisk management