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    Results:

    Subject Term: "Web pages"

    3 publications with a total of 9 open recommendations including 1 priority recommendation
    Director: Michelle Sager
    Phone: (202) 512-6806

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To better ensure the adherence to requirements for approval and public access to and feedback on significant guidance in accordance with OMB's Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices (M-07-07), the Secretary of HHS should develop written procedures for the approval of significant guidance documents.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: In comments printed in the April 2015 final report, HHS concurred with the recommendation and stated that it would explore the best mechanism for distributing written procedures for approval of significant guidance. As of August 2017, GAO is working with HHS officials to obtain additional updates and documentation regarding the department's implementation of this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve agencies' guidance development, review, evaluation, and dissemination processes for non-significant guidance, we recommend that the Secretaries of USDA, HHS, DOL, and Education should strengthen their selected components' application of internal controls to guidance processes by adopting, as appropriate, practices developed by other departments and components, such as assessment of risk; written procedures and tools to promote the consistent implementation and communication of management directives; and ongoing monitoring efforts to ensure that guidance is being issued appropriately and has the intended effect. Examples of practices that could be adopted more widely include (1) written procedures for guidance production to, among other things, clearly define management roles; (2) improved communication tools, such as routing slips to document management review; and (3) consistent and ongoing monitoring to determine if guidance is being accessed and having the intended effect.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: In comments printed in the April 2015 final report, HHS concurred with the recommendation and stated that it would continue to work with its agencies to share best practices and ensure that agency practices are alighted with departmental standards. As of August 2017, GAO is working with HHS officials to obtain additional updates and documentation regarding the department's implementation of this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To improve agencies' guidance development, review, evaluation, and dissemination processes for non-significant guidance, we recommend that the Secretaries of USDA, HHS, DOL, and Education should improve the usability of selected component websites to ensure that the public can easily find, access, and comment on online guidance. These improvements could be informed by the web and customer satisfaction metrics that components have collected on their websites. Some examples of changes that could facilitate public access to online guidance include (1) improving website usability by clarifying which links contain guidance; (2) highlighting new or important guidance; and (3) ensuring that posted guidance is current.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: In comments printed in the April 2015 final report, HHS concurred with the recommendation and stated that it would review current links to guidance documents and explore ways to enhance their visibility and usability. As of August 2017, GAO is working with HHS officials to obtain additional updates and documentation regarding the department's implementation of this recommendation.
    Director: John Neumann
    Phone: (202) 512-3841

    4 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To more effectively fulfill its expanded role in providing a clearinghouse of information on available federal technology transfer opportunities, the Chair of FLC, in coordination with the other members of the Executive Board, should work collaboratively with agency and lab members to take steps to better communicate with potential customers during the design and implementation of FLC's clearinghouse initiatives, including conducting customer needs assessments, conducting customer testing of current and future web-based initiatives, and collecting customer feedback on all FLC initiatives to make the initiatives more useful.

    Agency: Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
    Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2017, FLC provided GAO with updated information on the steps it has taken to address the recommendations in GAO-15-127. The information FLC provided demonstrated progress across all of the recommendations but also raised questions regarding the completeness or other details about some of the actions FLC reported. We will reassess the implementation status of the recommendations after receiving additional information from FLC in response to these questions.
    Recommendation: To more effectively fulfill its expanded role in providing a clearinghouse of information on available federal technology transfer opportunities, the Chair of FLC, in coordination with the other members of the Executive Board, once feedback is collected from potential customers, should work collaboratively with agency and lab members to use this feedback to improve FLC's initiatives to make them more useful to potential customers, including asking FLC members for additional or different information, as appropriate.

    Agency: Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
    Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2017, FLC provided GAO with updated information on the steps it has taken to address the recommendations in GAO-15-127. The information FLC provided demonstrated progress across all of the recommendations but also raised questions regarding the completeness or other details about some of the actions FLC reported. We will reassess the implementation status of the recommendations after receiving additional information from FLC in response to these questions.
    Recommendation: To more effectively fulfill its expanded role in providing a clearinghouse of information on available federal technology transfer opportunities, the Chair of FLC, in coordination with the other members of the Executive Board, should work collaboratively with agency and lab members to develop performance goals and measures for FLC's clearinghouse initiatives and use the results to evaluate progress toward meeting FLC's goals on outreach and networking.

    Agency: Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
    Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2017, FLC provided GAO with updated information on the steps it has taken to address the recommendations in GAO-15-127. The information FLC provided demonstrated progress across all of the recommendations but also raised questions regarding the completeness or other details about some of the actions FLC reported. We will reassess the implementation status of the recommendations after receiving additional information from FLC in response to these questions.
    Recommendation: To more effectively fulfill its expanded role in providing a clearinghouse of information on available federal technology transfer opportunities, the Chair of FLC, in coordination with the other members of the Executive Board, should report on FLC's progress in these efforts in its annual report to the President and Congress.

    Agency: Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
    Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2017, FLC provided GAO with updated information on the steps it has taken to address the recommendations in GAO-15-127. The information FLC provided demonstrated progress across all of the recommendations but also raised questions regarding the completeness or other details about some of the actions FLC reported. We will reassess the implementation status of the recommendations after receiving additional information from FLC in response to these questions.
    Director: Mctigue Jr, James R
    Phone: (202) 512-7968

    2 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: The Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service should direct appropriate officials to develop a long-term strategy to improve web services provided to taxpayers, in accordance with Howto.gov and other federal guidance outlined in our report. To accomplish this, the IRS should establish a numerical or other measureable goal to improve taxpayer satisfaction and a timeframe for achieving it.

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

    Comments: IRS has made progress in improving its online services strategy, as we recommended, but as of March 2017, IRS has not yet completed its efforts. IRS's strategy has evolved from a singular focus on on-line services to a more comprehensive strategy of taxpayer interaction through all service channels. In February 2016, IRS announced an agency-wide Future State Initiative, which in part, aims to deliver service improvements across different taxpayer interactions such as individual online accounts assistance, exams, and collections. In July 2016, the official responsible for IRS's on-line office reported that the agency is working towards developing an overall customer service satisfaction goal as part of the IRS Future State Initiative. The official said that this goal is broadly meant to cover various ways the public interacts with IRS, including web, phone, correspondence and walk in. In November 2016, IRS provided documentation on the goals of the Future State Initiative. However, this documentation does not include specific numerical targets for the performance measures that IRS expects to achieve for each goal or a timeline to achieve those goals. IRS officials stated they will incorporate a customer service satisfaction goal in its upcoming strategic plan. As of May 2018, IRS had not released the Fiscal Year 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.
    Recommendation: The Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service should direct appropriate officials to develop a long-term strategy to improve web services provided to taxpayers, in accordance with Howto.gov and other federal guidance outlined in our report. To accomplish this, the IRS should develop business cases for all new online services, describing the potential benefits and costs of the project, and use them to prioritize future projects.

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

    Comments: IRS has made progress in improving its online services strategy, as we recommended, but as of May 2018, IRS has not yet completed its efforts. IRS's strategy has evolved from a singular focus on on-line services to a more comprehensive strategy of taxpayer interaction through all service channels. In November 2017, IRS officials shared a draft outline of their Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 with GAO. The draft outline describes IRS's goals and objectives including expanding digital options for taxpayers and professionals to interact efficiently with IRS. However, this documentation is at a high level and subject to change. Until IRS releases the final Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, GAO will continue to assess the steps IRS is taking to develop a long-term strategy to improve web services for taxpayers. In addition, in November 2017, IRS implemented a new process to identify and prioritize IRS-wide investments and unfunded requirements which are outside the annual budget process. As a part of this new process, IRS's business units are to submit business cases that describe the need for the new investment, costs, benefits, return on investment, risks, and alignment with the Strategic Plan. IRS officials said they will use this prioritization process to score or rank investments using a standard -set of criteria. Having a prioritized list of unfunded requirements would allow IRS executives to allocate resources to the highest priorities when additional funding becomes available.