GAO’s recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed. 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. Below you can search only priority recommendations, or search all recommendations.

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As of April 18, 2018, there are 5,184 open recommendations, of which 465 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.

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Subject Term: "Evaluation methods"

5 publications with a total of 6 priority recommendations
Director: Robert Goldenkoff
Phone: (202) 512-2757

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: The Secretary of Commerce should direct the Under Secretary of the Economics and Statistics Administration and the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to use the Bureau's evaluations before 2020 to determine the implications of in-office address canvassing on the cost and quality of address canvassing, and use this information to justify decisions related to its re-engineered address canvassing approach.

Agency: Department of Commerce
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department's action plan dated September 22, 2017 stated that it would not be able to determine the marginal benefit of Active Block Resolution (ABR) compared to in-field address canvassing until the Bureau resumes ABR, sometime after the 2020 Census. Yet the Bureau had already conducted ABR in all three of the 2018 Census Test sites at which it also conducted in-field address canvassing. To fully implement this recommendation, the Bureau should compare the results from the in-office address canvassing that it decided not to use for the 2018 Census Test to the Bureau's in-field results from the test, in concert with other operational cost and productivity data as well as other relevant subjective information collected from participants in either the dropped in-office activity or the in-field effort. Attention to this may inform plans for evaluation and testing in the 2020 Census or the direction of early planning for cost savings in the next census.
Director: Beryl H. Davis
Phone: (202) 512-2623

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To help ensure that government-wide compliance under IPERA is consistently determined and reported, the Director of OMB should coordinate with CIGIE to develop and issue guidance, either jointly or independently, to specify what procedures should be conducted as part of the IGs' IPERA compliance determinations.

Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had no comments on the report or the recommendation to coordinate with the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) to develop guidance. Although this recommendation was not directed to CIGIE, the CIGIE Chairperson stated that CIGIE would coordinate with OMB as needed, and provide feedback on any draft OMB guidance. On May 17, 2018, CIGIE stated that there is no final guidance yet and had no estimated date of when the guidance would be finalized. We will continue to monitor the agency's actions to address this recommendation.
Director: Mark Goldstein
Phone: (202) 512-2834

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: Given DOT's new discretionary grant programs and similar challenges we have found with previous DOT programs, the Secretary of Transportation should issue a directive that governs department-wide and modal administration discretionary grant programs. Such a directive should include requirements to: (1) develop a plan for evaluating project proposals in advance of issuing a notice of funding availability that defines the stages of the process, including how the process will be overseen to ensure a consistent review of applications; (2) document key decisions, including the reason for any rating changes and the officials responsible for those changes, and how high-level concerns raised during the process were addressed; and (3) align stated program purpose and policy priorities with the evaluation and selection process.

Agency: Department of Transportation
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: As of April 2018, DOT has concurred with this recommendation and plans to address it by September 30, 2018 through updating its Financial Assistance Guidance Manual. In order to fully implement this recommendation, DOT needs to issue a directive that incorporates all of the elements identified in our report.
Director: Kingsbury, Nancy R
Phone: (202) 512-2700

2 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: In addition to implementing our previous recommendations, to effectively implement key elements of the IRS information security program, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue should ensure that control testing methodology and results fully meet the intent of the control objectives being tested.

Agency: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: During the audit of IRS's FY 2017 financial statements, IRS indicated that it had reviewed its security controls assessment standard operating procedure and trained contractors. While positive steps, these corrective actions did not fully address our recommendation. As part of our FY 2018 audit, we will continue to monitor the agency's progress in ensuring that its control testing methodology and results fully meet the intent of the control objectives being tested.
Recommendation: In addition to implementing our previous recommendations, to effectively implement key elements of the IRS information security program, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue should update the remedial action verification process to ensure actions are fully implemented.

Agency: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: During the audit of IRS's FY 2017 financial statements, IRS indicated that it had updated its standard operating procedures for validating remedial actions and has a team in place to ensure that remedial actions are fully implemented. However, these corrective actions did not fully address our recommendation. As part of our FY 2018 audit, we will continue to monitor the agency's progress in strengthening its remedial action verification process.
Director: Fleming, Susan A
Phone: (202) 512-2834

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To improve the CSA program, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the FMCSA Administrator to revise the SMS methodology to better account for limitations in drawing comparisons of safety performance information across carriers; in doing so, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the FMCSA Administrator to conduct a formal analysis that specifically identifies: (1) limitations in the data used to calculate SMS scores including variability in the carrier population and the quality and quantity of data available for carrier safety performance assessments, and (2) limitations in the resulting SMS scores including their precision, confidence, and reliability for the purposes for which they are used.

Agency: Department of Transportation
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: FMCSA did not agree with our recommendation, disputing the methodology and conclusions in our report. However, we continue to believe that addressing Safety Measurement System (SMS) methodology limitations has merit and could help the agency better target FMCSA's resources to the carriers that pose the highest risk of crashing. For example, we found FMCSA requires a minimum level of information for a carrier to receive an SMS score; however, this requirement is not strong enough to produce sufficiently reliable scores. As a result, FMCSA identified many carriers as high risk that were not later involved in a crash, potentially causing FMCSA to miss opportunities to intervene with higher risk carriers. To fully implement this recommendation, FMCSA should revise SMS methodology to account for data limitations that limit comparisons so that the FMCSA is better positioned to identify and mitigate carriers that pose the greatest safety risks.