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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Defense

GAO-24-107327 Published: Jun 28, 2024. Publicly Released: Jul 08, 2024.
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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 Department of Defense outlines 90 open recommendations that it should prioritize, including 6 that address barracks and privatized housing. For example, DOD should clarify its guidance on minimum health and safety standards for barracks facilities and rooms.

DOD implemented 19 recommendations we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

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What GAO Found

In June 2023, GAO identified 89 priority open recommendations for the Department of Defense (DOD). Since then, DOD has implemented 19 of those recommendations, leading to improvements in sustaining the F-35 aircraft, managing its real property inventory data, and financial reporting, among other areas. Further, GAO removed the priority status from two other recommendations. Thus, reducing the number of remaining priority open recommendations to 68.

In June 2024, GAO identified 22 new priority recommendations for DOD, bringing the total number to 90. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • rebuilding readiness and force structure;
  • accident prevention and safety;
  • cybersecurity and the information environment;
  • acquisitions and contract management;
  • financial management;
  • enterprise-wide business reform;
  • health care;
  • preventing sexual harassment; and
  • strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion.

DOD's continued attention to these issues could lead to further improvements in the department's 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 Cathleen A. Berrick at (202) 512-3404 or

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