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 February 9, 2020, there are 4958 open recommendations, of which 422 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 enhance the likelihood that TMDLs support the nation's waters' attainment of water quality standards and to strengthen water quality management, the Administrator of EPA should develop and issue new regulations requiring that TMDLs include additional elements--and consider requiring the elements that are now optional--specifically, elements reflecting key features identified by NRC as necessary for attaining water quality standards, such as comprehensive identification of impairment and plans to monitor water bodies to verify that water quality is improving.
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: As of June 2019, EPA officials stated that they believe this action has been implemented. They said the agency has taken several actions that change the focus of the total maximum daily loads (TMDL) program to focus efforts on implementing TMDLs. First, EPA developed a TMDL Vision document to focus on integrating and implementing different efforts to restore and protect the nation's aquatic resources. Second, EPA held regional meetings to discuss different TMDL topics such as monitoring, implementation, and reasonable assurance. Included in these discussions were good practices and examples. EPA officials stated that these actions have changed the focus of the program in the place of regulations. We agree that these actions are helpful and can take the agency and states in the direction of improving the TMDL program. However, the actions do not carry the force of regulations and we believe that the problems of nonpoint source pollution require stronger action such as regulations to be resolved. We do not consider the action has been implemented.