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As of February 4, 2023, there are 4823 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 463 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 463 Recommendations

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Federal Program Supported Contingent Workers Amid Historic Demand, but DOL Should Examine Racial Disparities in Benefit Receipt

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Labor
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Labor should ensure the Office of Unemployment Insurance examines and publicly reports on the extent of and potential causes of racial and ethnic inequities in the receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, as part of the agency's efforts to modernize UI and improve equity in the system. The report should also address whether there is a need to examine racial, ethnic, or other inequities in regular UI benefit receipt, based on the PUA findings. (Recommendation 2)
Open

DOL partially agreed with this recommendation, noting that enhancing demographic data collection in the permanent UI programs to inform actions to improve equity is a higher priority than performing a complete retrospective review of the PUA program, which is no longer operating. We believe examining and reporting on the extent and potential causes of racial and ethnic inequities in the receipt of PUA benefits would provide valuable information for DOL and policymakers to effectively monitor state practices for meeting its goals of advancing racial, geographic, and gender equity in the UI

Equal Employment Opportunity: Better Assistance and Data Use Could Improve Oversight of Veterans' Federal Contractor Employment

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of OFCCP should use available data to better approximate the size and characteristics of the veteran population protected under VEVRAA. For example, OFCCP could consider how to adjust the data it uses from the CPS Veterans Supplement to approximate the subset of veterans who are protected. (Recommendation 4)
Open

As of August 2022, OFCCP has plans to consult with labor economists and subject matter experts to explore whether it would be possible to adjust the CPS Veterans Supplement data the agency currently uses or use other data sources to obtain a better approximation of the number of protected veterans under VEVRAA. We will continue to monitor OFCCP's efforts and will consider closing this recommendation once OFCCP has implemented changes to adjusting the current data it uses or to use additional data to approximate the size and characteristics of the veteran population protected under VEVRAA.

IRS Free File Program: IRS Should Develop Additional Options for Taxpayers to File for Free

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Internal Revenue Service
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Commissioner of IRS should, before the expiration of the current Free File MOU in October 2023, work with relevant stakeholders to identify and develop additional options for free online filing of tax returns that would reflect current guidelines for federal digital services. (Recommendation 3)
Open

IRS disagreed with this recommendation. In its April 2022 comments on the report, IRS officials stated that it currently does not believe a public free filing option would significantly improve the taxpayer experience and it does not have sufficient funding to do this. IRS leaves open the possibility that it would reconsider its position if Congress enacted new legislation or funding. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provided IRS with $15 million in funding to report to Congress by May 2023 on the cost of IRS developing and running its own electronic filing system, taxpayer opinions of such

Tax Filing: 2021 Performance Underscores Need for IRS to Address Persistent Challenges

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2 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Internal Revenue Service
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should work with Treasury to develop and implement a modernization plan for "Where's My Refund" that fully addresses taxpayer needs and requirements. (Recommendation 4)
Open – Partially Addressed

IRS agreed with this recommendation and began taking action to address it. In October 2022, IRS said it had added some functionality to "Where's My Refund" to allow taxpayers to view the refund status for the last three tax years. IRS also stated that it is evaluating options for further improvements that may be possible through funding provided under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Finally, IRS stated that it is conducting research to gather insights on user needs and expectations regarding obtaining refund information online. IRS expects to use this information in evaluating future

Internal Revenue Service
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should estimate time frames for resolving IRS's correspondence backlog, monitor and update these estimates periodically, and communicate this information to taxpayers and stakeholders. (Recommendation 5)
Open – Partially Addressed

IRS agreed with the recommendation, and officials said IRS would continue with its efforts to manage its correspondence inventory and return it to normal levels. IRS committed to reducing its taxpayer adjustments correspondence inventory to about 1 million by the end of 2022, and assigned additional customer service representatives to process correspondence during the year. However, IRS has not established goals to resolve other areas of its correspondence inventory. In October 2022, IRS stated that it continues to update its "Status of Operations" webpage to provide taxpayers and other

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: Construction Challenges Highlight the Need for DOE to Address Root Causes

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2 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Energy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Energy should ensure that the Director of the Office of Project Management update Order 413.3B to require that program offices develop corrective action plans that will address root causes. (Recommendation 2)
Open

According to DOE's comments on the report, DOE plans to develop a project management policy statement requiring formal corrective action plans after a root cause analysis for capital asset projects. DOE anticipates this project management policy statement will be complete by September 2022. In addition, the policy should be incorporated into the next update of DOE Order 413.3B.

Department of Energy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Energy should ensure that the Director of the Office of Project Management update Order 413.3B to require that the Office of Project Management assess and validate the extent to which the program office has taken corrective actions to address root causes identified during the baseline change process. (Recommendation 3)
Open

According to DOE's comments on the report, DOE plans to develop a project management policy statement requiring the Office of Project Management to independently assess the effectiveness of all corrective actions taken in response to root cause analyses for capital asset projects. DOE anticipates this project management policy statement will be complete September 2022. In addition, the policy should be incorporated into the next update of DOE Order 413.3B.

DOD Financial Management: Air Force Needs to Improve Its System Migration Efforts

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Air Force
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller) should develop a systems migration plan based on leading migration practices to more timely transition from the Air Force's General Accounting and Finance System–Reengineered environment to the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System (DEAMS). (Recommendation 1)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. In its response, DOD stated that the department is developing a systems migration plan to transition transactions from GAFS-R to the target general ledger systems, including DEAMS and the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul initiative. DOD further stated that the plan includes identifying dependencies on personnel, logistics, and other business area management applications necessary to transition to a modern system environment. After DOD completes its plan we will determine if it meets the intent of our recommendation.

Littoral Combat Ship: Actions Needed to Address Significant Operational Challenges and Implement Planned Sustainment Approach

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2 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the LCS program office, in coordination with the Chief of Naval Operations, develops a comprehensive plan, including estimated costs and time frames, for addressing deficiencies in the seaframes, performing adequate testing of mission modules, and implementing lessons learned from completed deployments. (Recommendation 5)
Open

DOD concurred with our recommendation. In January 2022, the Navy reported that it had merged the LCS Strike Team into the newly established Task Force LCS to identify reliability issues on both variants of LCS. The Navy also reported that the surface warfare mission package has completed operational testing and achieved initial operational capability. In addition, the Navy plans to complete formal testing aboard the LCS and achieve initial operational capability for the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures mission (MCM) packages by the end of fiscal year 2022. Furthermore, the

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Chief of Naval Operations, to the extent practicable, makes future operational deployments contingent on demonstrated progress in addressing gaps between desired and demonstrated capabilities. (Recommendation 6)
Open

DOD concurred with our recommendation. In January 2022, Navy officials said the Navy's Task Force LCS had begun addressing this recommendation. Navy officials stated that some planned operational deployments had been paused pending correction of performance challenges. In addition, Navy Commanders conduct recurring readiness briefs to address and resolve identified issues prior to operational deployments. Navy officials stated they plan to complete actions to address this recommendation by the first quarter of fiscal year 2024. We will periodically follow up with the Navy on its progress in

2020 Census: Lessons Learned from Planning and Implementing the 2020 Census Offer Insights to Support 2030 Preparations

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau should develop a plan to improve resiliency of its 2030 Census research and testing activity in response to Bureau-identified budget uncertainty, including but not limited to specifying the tests and projects that are most important to conduct. (Recommendation 1)
Open

We await receipt of an action plan due from the Bureau in August 2022 describing the steps the agency plans to take in response to this recommendation.

Navy Ship Maintenance: Actions Needed to Monitor and Address the Performance of Intermediate Maintenance Periods

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Navy's maintenance-related strategic planning and initiatives, such as the Navy's Performance to Plan efforts, include issues associated with the performance of intermediate maintenance periods. (Recommendation 4)
Open

The Navy concurred with this recommendation. In written responses from January 2022, the Navy stated it will leverage the Performance to Plan and Naval Sustainment System forums to drive improvements to maintenance as a whole, encompassing both intermediate and depot level maintenance. When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Defense Infrastructure: DOD Should Better Manage Risks Posed by Deferred Facility Maintenance

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2 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Defense
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment, in coordination with the DOD components, sets milestones and holds component leadership accountable for implementing SMS. (Recommendation 2)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor implementation of the recommendation, and update the recommendation status as warranted.

Department of Defense
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment, in coordination with the DOD components, conducts an assessment of the SMS implementing guidance to determine which elements of SMS should be applied consistently across the components, and uses the results of that assessment to update the guidance for SMS condition assessments to ensure that facility condition data are comparable across the department. (Recommendation 4)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor implementation of the recommendation, and update the recommendation status as warranted.

K-12 Education: Department of Education Should Help States Address Student Testing Issues and Financial Risks Associated with Virtual Schools, Particularly Virtual Charter Schools

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Education
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Education should identify the factors that cause underreporting and misreporting of information on management organizations that contract with charter schools, including virtual charter schools, and take steps to help states report accurate data on these contracts. (Recommendation 3)
Open

Education agreed with this recommendation. Officials said the Institute of Education Sciences has made significant outreach efforts over the last two years to gather input from state and local officials, and to disseminate information useful to all schools including virtual charter schools. Education also noted that it has funded a technical assistance center to support states and districts in tracking attendance and addressing chronic absenteeism, and that states can use information developed through this center for virtual schools as needed. These are positive steps and GAO will await

COVID-19: Significant Improvements Are Needed for Overseeing Relief Funds and Leading Responses to Public Health Emergencies

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Treasury should design and implement processes, such as post-payment reviews or recovery audits, to help ensure timely identification and recovery of overpayments made by grantees to households, landlords, or utility providers in the Emergency Rental Assistance programs. See the Emergency Rental Assistance enclosure. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Treasury agreed with our recommendation, and stated that it is working to establish post-payment reviews and recovery audit activities within the schedule prescribed in Treasury's Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123 Appendix C: Requirements for Payment Integrity. Treasury also stated that it will be approving and initiating an ERA desk review plan that uses risk-based analytics to identify the highest-risk ERA recipients. Treasury stated that it is also actively working with OMB to publish guidance on the programs in the Compliance Supplement in early 2022. As of September 2022

Spectrum Management: NTIA Should Improve Spectrum Reallocation Planning and Assess Its Workforce

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The NTIA Administrator should document and disseminate to federal agencies policies and procedures describing how it collects and considers agencies' views on spectrum-related matters to present the views of the executive branch to FCC. (Recommendation 2)
Open

In January 2023, NTIA staff said they are working on a spectrum initiative that will address this recommendation with the expectation it will be announced in the spring of 2023 and implemented thereafter. When we confirm that NTIA has taken additional steps to implement this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Real Property: GSA Should Fully Assess Its Prospectus Process and Communicate Results to Its Authorizing Committees

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2 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
General Services Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service should fully assess the prospectus process for leases and capital projects—including identifying, analyzing, and responding to risks associated with the process that may limit GSA's ability to manage its assets portfolio—and should implement potential improvements to the process identified through the assessment. As part of this assessment, the Commissioner should solicit input from GSA's authorizing committees about challenges and risks posed by the prospectus process. (Recommendation 1)
Open

GSA agreed with our recommendation. In March 2022, GSA provided information on its corrective action plan to address the recommendation. Under its plan, GSA will seek to gather input on ways to improve the prospectus process from its regional offices, the Office of Management and Budget, and its authorizing committees. Based on this input, GSA intends to complete a full analysis of the process and identify potential improvements. Further, GSA said that it will streamline its annual Capital Investment and Leasing Program Call to improve internal processes and supporting documentation. We will

General Services Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Administrator of the General Services Administration should communicate to the agency's authorizing committees the results of GSA's assessment, including any proposed changes to the process that may require legislative action to implement. (Recommendation 2)
Open

GSA agreed with our recommendation. In March 2022 GSA provided information on its corrective action plan to address this recommendation. Under its plan, GSA will communicate the results of its assessment of the prospectus process, including any proposed changes to the process, to the Office of Management and Budget. We will continue to monitor GSA's actions to address this recommendation.

USDA Market Facilitation Program: Oversight of Future Supplemental Assistance to Farmers Could Be Improved

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Farm Service Agency
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Administrator of FSA should issue guidance directing the agency to assess risk characteristics and take a more complete risk-based approach in selecting samples for future compliance reviews of supplemental assistance programs. This approach could include focusing on farming operations that received substantially large payments and new customers for which FSA does not have other information to corroborate eligibility for program participation. (Recommendation 2)
Open

In commenting on our draft report, FSA agreed with this recommendation. Specifically, FSA stated that the agency "will collaborate with supporting agency divisions to identify and assess risk characteristics that may include payment eligibility as well as program eligibility for a more complete risk-based approach in selecting samples." We will follow up with FSA regarding this recommendation and provide an update when we have additional information.

Note: the list of open recommendations for the last report may continue on the next page.

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 apqa@gao.gov.