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: The Secretary of the Interior should direct the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, who oversees BSEE, to establish a mechanism for BSEE management to obtain and incorporate input from bureau personnel and any external parties, such as Argonne, that can affect the bureau's ability to achieve its objectives.
Agency: Department of the Interior Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: In its June 9, 2017, response to our report, Interior indicated that BSEE is developing new strategies to improve trust and foster greater collaboration for consideration by the new Director. In September 2018, Interior provided documentation of several BSEE actions, including establishing an Employee Engagement Council, an Innovation Program, and Ombudsman position within the bureau. As of December 2019, BSEE indicated that these efforts remain ongoing. However, this recommendation remains open because BSEE has not yet demonstrated that these actions represent an enduring institutionalization of improved communication throughout the bureau.
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.