Recommendations Database

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 December 2, 2021, there are 4653 open recommendations, of which 482 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.

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1 - 8 of 8 Recommendations
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Real Estate Assessment Center: HUD Should Improve Physical Inspection Process and Oversight of Inspectors

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Real Estate Assessment Center should conduct a comprehensive review of the physical inspection process. (Recommendation 1)
Open

REAC agreed with this recommendation. As of April 2021, REAC provided a copy of an internal audit, which focused on five areas that REAC describes as physical assessment business line areas. REAC officials have described this audit as a comprehensive review of the inspection program process, but it is too narrowly scoped to be considered a comprehensive review. For example, the review did not address the actual physical inspection process, including the inspection standards or the scoring and sampling models used. REAC provided a separate document in which it says that a senior leadership team

Cybersecurity Workforce: Agencies Need to Accurately Categorize Positions to Effectively Identify Critical Staffing Needs

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
To complete the appropriate assignment of codes to their positions performing IT, cybersecurity, or cyber-related functions, in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act of 2015, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should take steps to review the assignment of the "000" code to any positions in the department in the 2210 IT management occupational series and assign the appropriate NICE framework work role codes. (Recommendation 10)
Open

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agreed with this recommendation. In January 2020, HUD stated that it was in the process of reviewing its positions in the 2210 IT management occupational series and assigning appropriate work role codes. To fully implement this recommendation, HUD will need to correctly categorize the work roles and functions performed by IT and cyber-related personnel in order to be able to identify critical cybersecurity staffing needs. As of March 2021, HUD had not provided sufficient evidence that it had implemented this recommendation.

Lead Paint in Housing: HUD Should Strengthen Grant Processes, Compliance Monitoring, and Performance Assessment

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3 Open Recommendations
3 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of HUD's Lead Office and the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) should collaborate to establish a plan to mitigate and address risks within HUD's lead paint compliance monitoring processes. (Recommendation 4)
Open

As of March 2021, HUD stated the agency was still developing a plan to mitigate and address risks with respect to lead paint compliance monitoring. HUD officials told us they are working on a plan that would establish a risk-based monitoring structure where the agency would target particular public housing agencies as it relates to lead risk. However, HUD officials noted their plans to implement this recommendation had been delayed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. HUD officials said they intend to have a plan for a monitoring structure in place by the end of Fiscal Year 2021. We will

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of HUD's Lead Office and the Assistant Secretary for PIH should collaborate to develop and document procedures to ensure that HUD staff take consistent and timely steps to address issues of public housing agency noncompliance with lead paint regulations. (Recommendation 5)
Open

As of March 2021, HUD officials told us procedures were in draft form and under internal review and were expected to be finalized before the end of fiscal year 2021.

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of HUD should request authority from Congress to amend the inspection standard to identify lead paint hazards in the Housing Choice Voucher program as indicated by analysis of health effects for children, the impact on landlord participation in the program, and other relevant factors. (Recommendation 6)
Open

In response to this recommendation, HUD's fiscal year 2021 budget justification requested funds to test an alternative lead paint testing method in HUD's Housing Choice Voucher program (the funds were not appropriated). As of March 2021, HUD officials told us the agency plans to continue to pursue funds to conduct a demonstration. To fully implement our recommendation, HUD needs to continue to take steps to analyze potential effects of alternative lead paint testing methods, and use the results to inform its decisions about requesting new authority from Congress.

Rental Housing: Improvements Needed to Better Monitor the Moving to Work Demonstration, Including Effects on Tenants

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2 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Assistant Secretary for PIH should develop and implement a plan for analyzing the information that agencies report on the effect of rent-reform, work-requirement, and time-limit policies on tenants as part of a framework for monitoring the effect of these policies on tenants. (Recommendation 11)
Open

In January 2021, HUD officials stated that they planned to develop separate analysis plans for existing and expansion MTW agencies due to differences in the types of performance information HUD can require them to report under their MTW agreements. For the expansion agencies, HUD stated that it will analyze the effect of rent-reform, work-requirement, and time-limit policies as part of cohort-specific evaluations.

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Assistant Secretary for PIH should develop and implement a process to track how MTW demonstration funds are being used for other allowable activities, including local, nontraditional activities. (Recommendation 3)
Open

In October 2021, HUD officials stated that they planned to revise reporting requirements and guidance for MTW agencies' Housing Choice Voucher funds to better track how these funds are being used for local, nontraditional activities. HUD plans to finalize these revisions by the second quarter of fiscal year 2022.

Information Technology: HUD Can Take Additional Actions to Improve Its Governance

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
To establish an enterprise-wide view of cost savings and operational efficiencies generated by investments and governance processes, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the Deputy Secretary and Chief Information Officer to place a higher priority on identifying governance-related cost savings and efficiencies and establish and institutionalize a process for identifying and tracking comprehensive, high-quality data on savings and efficiencies resulting from IT investments and the IT governance process.
Open

The department has taken steps to address this recommendation. Specifically, in April 2016, HUD provided examples of cost savings that the department had identified by "scrubbing" existing contracts during the budget formulation process, along with copies of a template that it designed and used to help identify such savings. In May 2018, department officials provided a demonstration of the HUD PLUS tool, including screens staff could use to report cost savings and avoidances related to specific projects--although they reported that HUD was not yet using that functionality. In April 2019, OCIO

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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.