Reports & Testimonies

  • GAO’s recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed.

    GAO’s recommendations help congressional and agency leaders prepare for appropriations and oversight activities, as well as help improve government operations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented. You can explore open recommendations by searching or browsing.

    GAO's priority recommendations are those that we believe warrant priority attention. We sent letters to the heads of key departments and agencies, urging them to continue focusing on these issues. These recommendations are labeled as such. You can find priority recommendations by searching or browsing our open recommendations below, or through our mobile app.

  • Browse Open Recommendations

    Explore priority recommendations by subject terms or browse by federal agency

    Search Open Recommendations

    Search for a specific priority recommendation by word or phrase

  • Governing on the go?

    Our Priorities for Policy Makers app makes it easier for leaders to search our recommendations on the go.

    See the November 10th Press Release

  • Have a Question about a Recommendation?

    • For questions about a specific recommendation, contact the person or office listed with the recommendation.
    • For general information about recommendations, contact GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office at (202) 512-6100 or
  • « Back to Results List Sort by   


    Subject Term: "Electronic surveillance"

    3 publications with a total of 3 open recommendations
    Director: Rebecca Gambler
    Phone: (202) 512-8777

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Chief of the Border Patrol should issue guidance for sectors to improve the quality and usability of its surveillance technology asset assist information to help ensure it has reliable data so that Border Patrol can be better positioned to measure the impact of these technologies on its border security efforts and inform future investments. (Recommendation 1)

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security: United States Customs and Border Protection: Office of the Commissioner: U.S. Border Patrol
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Cristina T. Chaplain
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve technology planning and ensure planning efforts are clearly aligned with the SBIRS follow-on, the Secretary of the Air Force should establish a technology insertion plan as part of the SBIRS follow-on acquisition strategy that identifies obsolescence needs as well as specific potential technologies and insertion points.

    Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force
    Status: Open

    Comments: In providing comments on this report, the agency concurred with this recommendation. DOD's planned action on the scope and focus of technology insertion will be based on the direction provided in the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Follow-on Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) and will be executed through the SBIRS Space Modernization Initiative (SMI). The SBIRS AoA was completed in March 2016; however, as of June 2017, the SMI schedule has yet to show how technology will be inserted into the follow-on system.
    Director: Gambler, Rebecca S
    Phone: (202)512-3000

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To increase the likelihood of successful implementation of the Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan and maximize the effectiveness of technology already deployed, the Commissioner of CBP should take the following step in planning the agency's new technology approach: determine the mission benefits to be derived from implementation of the plan and develop and apply key attributes for metrics to assess program implementation.

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security: United States Customs and Border Protection
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of November 2017, the U.S. Border Patrol, within CBP, had made some progress in identifying key attributes for metrics to assess implementation of the Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan (Plan), as GAO recommended in November 2011, but it has not yet fully identified and applied attributes for metrics for all technologies under the Plan. As GAO recommended in November 2011, CBP has identified improved situational awareness and agent safety as the mission benefits derived from the majority of these technologies. In November 2014, CBP identified a set of potential key attributes for performance metrics for all technologies to be deployed under the Plan, and established a timeline for developing performance measures for each technology. In September 2016, CBP provided GAO a case study that assessed technology assist data, along with other measures such as field-based assessments of capability gaps. However, the case study was limited to one border location and the analysis was limited to select technologies. In May 2017, Border Patrol officials demonstrated a new system, intended to allow for more comprehensive analysis of the contributions of surveillance technologies to Border Patrol's mission. However, officials confirmed that it is not yet used to support such analytic efforts. As noted in GAO's November 2017 report on CBP's use of surveillance technology, GAO continues to believe that developing and applying performance metrics for its border technologies, in accordance with our prior recommendation, would help Border Patrol more fully assess its progress in implementing the Southwest Border Technology Plan and determine when mission benefits have been realized.