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.
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As of December 31, 1969, there are open recommendations, of which are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To strengthen management of the Direct Loan Program and ensure good customer service for borrowers, the Secretary of Education should direct the Office of Federal Student Aid's Chief Operating Officer to review its methods of providing instructions and guidance to servicers, identifying areas to improve clarity and sufficiency, and ensure consistent delivery of instructions and guidance to ensure program integrity and improve service to borrowers. For example, the Department could consider implementing a detailed, common servicing manual for the Direct Loan program.
Agency: Department of Education Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: The Department of Education agreed with this recommendation and reviewed its process for providing guidance to servicers. It has issued a few clarifications to servicers to help with consistency and reported that it intends to incorporate this recommendation into its acquisition plan for a new loan servicing system. To fully implement this recommendation, the agency needs to demonstrate that the new Direct Loan servicing system will provide clear and consistent instructions and guidance to servicers to ensure program integrity and improve service to borrowers. As of February 2020, Education officials said implementation of this recommendation was still in progress, pending completion in October 2021. At that time, the agency expects the re-design of its student loan financial services environment, which will include additional guidance to servicers, to be fully operational.