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As of January 29, 2023, there are 4847 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 473 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

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1 - 20 of 71 Recommendations, including 10 Priority Recommendations

Securities and Exchange Commission: Employee Views of Personnel Management Improved, but Action Needed on Measuring Diversity and Inclusion Goals

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
United States Securities and Exchange Commission The Director of SEC's Office of Minority and Women Inclusion should ensure that performance measures for SEC's diversity and inclusion strategic plan for fiscal years 2023–2026 align with the plan's goals and are clear, measurable, objective, and reliable. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Securities and Exchange Commission: Additional Guidance Needed for Assessing Staff Procedures

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
United States Securities and Exchange Commission The Director of the Division of Enforcement should ensure that the division's memorandum regarding certification under section 961 of the Dodd-Frank Act include a summary of the work performed for and results of the assessment of the effectiveness of staff procedures. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

United States Securities and Exchange Commission The 961 Working Group should revise its Reference Guide for Compliance with Section 961 of the Dodd-Frank Act to include guidance on using program data to help assess the effectiveness of staff procedures. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

United States Securities and Exchange Commission The 961 Working Group should revise its Reference Guide for Compliance with Section 961 of the Dodd-Frank Act to require the relevant divisions and office to include in their written plans for assessing the effectiveness of staff procedures a requirement that they review their program manuals on a periodic and comprehensive basis. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Bank Supervision: Lessons Learned from Remote Supervision during Pandemic Could Inform Future Disruptions

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Reserve System The Federal Reserve's Chief Operating Officer should develop and document specific action steps and time frames for completing the components of the Federal Reserve's enterprise risk management framework related to identifying and assessing risks to its supervisory mission, such as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency OCC's Senior Deputy Comptrollers of Large Bank Supervision and Mid-Size and Community Bank Supervision should review potential lessons learned related to how OCC managed adjustments to supervisory activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This review should include collection and analysis of information to identify aspects of fully remote examinations that worked well and areas for improvement. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Bank Secrecy Act: Action Needed to Improve DOJ Statistics on Use of Reports on Suspicious Financial Transactions

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Justice DOJ's Chief Information Officer, Chief Evaluation Officer and Chief Statistical Official should incorporate data on the use of BSA reports into their ongoing efforts to improve DOJ's data collection and infrastructure to determine if there are ways DOJ component agencies that use BSA reports could more consistently collect data described in NDAA section 6201. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Justice The Chief of MLARS should collaborate with DOJ's Chief Information Officer and Statistical Official in producing future section 6201 reports, and use their expertise to help ensure a rigorous methodology for report design and analyses. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Fair Lending: Opportunities Exist to Enhance OCC's Oversight of Banks' Lending Practices

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency As OCC updates its redlining examination procedures, the Comptroller of the Currency should ensure the Compliance Risk Policy Division takes into account the new types of analysis being performed when it documents the steps that the examiners should take as they evaluate whether a bank has potentially engaged in redlining in violation of fair lending laws. (Recommendation 1)
Open

OCC stated that the updated examination procedures will clarify and expand the list of redlining risk factors, highlight certain key points regarding redlining case elements that have historically raised concerns, and update information from public redlining cases that concluded since the interagency fair lending examination procedures were published in 2010. The updated booklet is expected to be published no later than December 31, 2022. OCC will also develop additional training for examiners to highlight redlining examination best practices. Training will include live multi-part agency wide

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency The Comptroller of the Currency should ensure the Compliance Risk Policy Division and the Office of Midsize and Community Bank Supervision establish time frames for carrying out their plan to centrally track information on midsize and community bank fair lending examination screening, selection, and outcomes. The Compliance Risk Policy Division should use this information to analyze its screening and selection processes on an ongoing basis to ensure an appropriate balance of (1) effective identification of fair lending deficiencies and violations and (2) efficiency given available resources. (Recommendation 2)
Open

OCC's offices will work collaboratively to develop a centralized process and procedures to collect and monitor information on fair lending activities. The new process will include procedures regarding the selection and non-selection of identified focal points, the disposition of focal points not selected, and the documentation of examination outcomes, including whether supervisory activities identified fair lending deficiencies or potential violations. The target date to implement a data collection and monitoring process is January 1, 2023.

Cyber Insurance: Action Needed to Assess Potential Federal Response to Catastrophic Attacks

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency The Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency should work with the Director of the Federal Insurance Office to produce a joint assessment for Congress on the extent to which the risks to the nation's critical infrastructure from catastrophic cyberattacks, and the potential financial exposures resulting from these risks, warrant a federal insurance response. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Insurance Office The Director of the Federal Insurance Office should work with the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to produce a joint assessment for Congress on the extent to which the risks to the nation's critical infrastructure from catastrophic cyberattacks, and the potential financial exposures resulting from these risks, warrant a federal insurance response. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Banking Services: Regulators Have Taken Actions to Increase Access, but Measurement of Actions' Effectiveness Could Be Improved

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation The Chairman of FDIC should develop and implement outcome-oriented performance measures for its strategic objective of ensuring access to safe and affordable bank services that reflect leading practices, including demonstrating results, measuring outcomes, and providing useful information for decision-making. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

National Credit Union Administration The Chairman of NCUA should develop and implement outcome-oriented performance measures for its strategic objective of facilitating access to credit union services that reflect leading practices, including demonstrating results, measuring outcomes, and providing useful information for decision-making. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency The Comptroller of the Currency should complete efforts to develop and implement performance measures to cover the agency's key efforts for its strategic objective to promote financial inclusion through fair access to financial services—including Project REACh—that reflect leading practices, including demonstrating results, measuring outcomes, and providing useful information for decision-making. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Countering Illicit Finance and Trade: Better Information Sharing and Collaboration Needed to Combat Trade-Based Money Laundering

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury, in collaboration with partner agencies, should establish an interagency collaboration mechanism to promote greater information sharing and data analysis between federal agencies and with relevant private-sector entities on issues related to trade-based money laundering and other illicit trade schemes. (Recommendation 1)
Open

In June 2022, Treasury officials noted they could seek to promote greater formal coordination among federal agencies on TBML to improve information sharing and data analysis, but the effectiveness and success of such a coordination mechanism to combat illicit finance schemes would ultimately rely on the Department of Homeland Security and the Trade Transparency Unit data being made broadly available to Treasury, law enforcement, and other agencies.

Department of Homeland Security The Secretary of Homeland Security should ensure the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement takes steps to enable and implement sharing of the Trade Transparency Unit's trade data—including for the purposes of trade data analysis about patterns or trends of illicit activity related to trade-based money laundering and similar schemes—with U.S agencies with roles and responsibilities related to enforcing trade laws and combating illicit financial activity, as appropriate. (Recommendation 2)
Open

As of February 2022, ICE officials said the agency does not have authority to share the data with other entities because ICE's data-sharing agreements with foreign countries prohibit the sharing of their information, and data sharing agreements among U.S. law enforcement agencies provide a mechanism to request access and authorization if an agency needs access. However, in technical comments ICE officials noted their willingness to share their unique data with other federal agencies--for example, by partnering with relevant agencies to analyze data and identify trends within a working group

USDA Market Facilitation Program: Stronger Adherence to Quality Guidelines Would Improve Future Economic Analyses

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Office of the Chief Economist revises its internal review process to help ensure that USDA internal reviews of future economic analyses address the transparency of its documentation of the analyses. (Recommendation 1)
Open

As of June 2022, USDA reiterated that it disagreed with our recommendations. USDA stated that the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) conducted the analysis in accordance with USDA Information Quality Guidelines and published the data sources, methodology, and assumptions underlying the analysis in two methodology reports posted to the OCE website and in the rulemaking Cost Benefit Analysis. However, OCE's published documentation did not transparently describe, to the extent possible, the 2019 MFP baseline methodology or OCE's selection of the elasticity values used in its economic model from

Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Office of the Chief Economist revises its internal review process to help ensure that USDA internal reviews assess whether future economic analyses use representative baselines. (Recommendation 2)
Open

As of June 2022, USDA reiterated that it disagreed with our recommendations. USDA stated that GAO's findings with respect to the 2019 baseline and payment levels do not take into account that USDA policy makers, not the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), made those determinations. However, though OCE did not make the policy decision, it provided options to policy makers that directly affected the program spending levels and payment rates, and we found that OCE's analysis did not meet USDA Information Quality Guidelines. OCE presented an option to policymakers that relied on an

Bankruptcy: Enhanced Authority Could Strengthen Oversight of Executive Bonuses Awarded Before a Bankruptcy Filing

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Congress Congress should consider amending the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to clearly subject bonuses debtors pay executives shortly before a bankruptcy filing to bankruptcy court oversight and to specify factors courts should consider to approve such bonuses. (Matter for Consideration 1)
Open

In October 2021, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 5554) to prohibit debtors in bankruptcy proceedings from paying bonuses to certain individuals, including insiders (such as relatives) and highly compensated employees. Also in October 2021, a bill was introduced in the Senate (S. 3022) and House of Representatives (H.R. 5648) to restrict executive compensation payments in bankruptcy unless they are part of a program that generally is applicable to employees of the debtor. The Senate bill was reintroduced in September 2022. As of November 2022, Congress has not taken

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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 apqa@gao.gov.