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 7, 2020, there are 4984 open recommendations, of which 369 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 email@example.com.
Recommendation: To help ensure the Bureau focuses its resources on those activities that show promise for substantially reducing enumeration cost, in advance of the 2016 Census Test and later tests, 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, ensure systematic capture of information about fieldwork cases that experience problems by including information in enumerator training about where to record the issues, who to contact, what details to include, and the importance of doing so.
Agency: Department of Commerce Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: Commerce concurred with this recommendation. The Census Bureau informed us in December 2015 that no later than the end of December 2015, it would document how these matters have been addressed in the enumerator training (or in help screens on their mobile device) planned for the 2016 Census Test, and that it would use results and observations from that test to further refine such information for future tests and for the 2020 Census. The Bureau provided us with related training materials for the 2016 Test, yet we made similar observations during the 2016 test and the 2018 End-to-End test. For the Bureau to be informed on any additional training needs or other operational decisions for 2020, it will need to continue to expand its efforts in collecting information on enumerator-reported problems per our 2015 recommendation. To fully implement this recommendation, the Bureau needs to identify what information it finds valuable to have from its enumerators, such as the incidence of specific technical problems with the survey instrument or mobile device and ensure that enumerators and their first-line supervisors are made aware of the importance of recording such information and how to do so.
Recommendation: To meet its fiduciary responsibility of ensuring that section 1115 waivers are budget neutral, the Secretary of Health and Human services should better ensure that valid methods are used to demonstrate budget neutrality, by developing and implementing consistent criteria for consideration of section 1115 demonstration waiver proposals.
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: As of January 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had taken some action to address GAO's 2002 recommendation. In August 2018, HHS issued written guidance through a State Medicaid Directors Letter documenting four key changes it made in 2016 to its budget neutrality policy. These changes addressed some, but not all of the questionable methods GAO identified in its reports. To fully address this recommendation, HHS should also address these other questionable methods, such as setting demonstration spending limits based on hypothetical costs-what the state could have paid-rather than payments actually made by the state. GAO has found that the use of hypothetical costs has the potential to inflate spending limits and thus threatens budget neutrality of demonstrations