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.
Our recommendations help congressional and agency leaders prepare for appropriations and oversight activities, as well as help improve government operations.
Moreover, when implemented, some of our priority recommendations can save large amounts of money, help Congress make decisions on major issues, and substantially improve or transform major government programs or agencies, among other benefits.
As of April 1, 2020, there are 4994 open recommendations, of which 380 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
Browse or Search Open Recommendations
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recommendation: To help improve DOE's ability to take enforcement action against unlawful retaliation when appropriate and take action against contractors that create a chilled work environment, the Secretary of Energy should revise DOE's Integrated Safety Management policy and guidance to clarify what constitutes evidence of a chilled work environment and define the appropriate steps DOE should take to hold contractors accountable for creating a chilled work environment.
Agency: Department of Energy Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: DOE concurred with the recommendation. In January 2018, DOE issued a revision to DOE Policy 450.4A. The revised policy states that organizations should foster a culture that allows employees to "feel free to raise safety concerns without fear of retaliation...and supporting a questioning attitude concerning safety by all employees." However, the policy does not define the appropriate steps DOE should take to hold contractors accountable for creating a chilled work environment. We will continue to work with DOE to determine whether they plan to make additional changes to the policy to address our recommendation.
Recommendation: To establish full-risk rates for properties with previously subsidized rates that reflect their risk for flooding, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should direct the FEMA Administrator to develop and implement a plan, including a timeline, to obtain needed elevation information as soon as practicable.
Agency: Department of Homeland Security Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: As of January 2020, FEMA continues its multi-year effort to redesign its risk rating system to reflect industry best practices, such as providing credible, understandable rates based on graduated risk. As part of this redesign, FEMA plans to obtain multiple sources of data and information about a property's risk of flooding--from which it may be able to derive elevation information on some properties--to develop the insurance rate. FEMA has delayed implementation of the new risk rating system until 2021, pending further analysis. In addition, FEMA issued a Request for Information on obtaining structural elevation information from third party sources and is reviewing responses from potential vendors. The agency also encourages subsidized policyholders who seek to ensure the appropriateness of their NFIP rates to voluntarily submit elevation documentation. We will continue to monitor the extent to which FEMA is able to produce elevation information for all currently subsidized properties.
Recommendation: To develop timely chemical risk information that EPA needs to effectively conduct its mission, the Administrator, EPA, should require the Office of Research and Development to re-evaluate its draft proposed changes to the IRIS assessment process in light of the issues raised in this report and ensure that any revised process periodically assesses the level of resources that should be dedicated to this significant program to meet user needs and maintain a viable IRIS database.
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: As of September 2018, EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program officials told GAO that they have drafted and sent for Agency review a "Handbook for Developing IRIS Assessments," intended to guide staff through the sequential stages of the IRIS assessment process. Since January 2017, IRIS Program staff have used project management techniques and software intended to help Program leadership better understand and utilize resources and monitor assessment progress. However, until the IRIS Program provides documentation demonstrating a stable IRIS process that periodically assesses the level of resources that should be dedicated to the program to meet user needs and maintain a viable IRIS database, and finalizes the Handbook, GAO will leave this recommendation open.