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 November 30, 2021, there are 4659 open recommendations, of which 482 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.

Search Open Recommendations

1 - 6 of 6 Recommendations
Download CSV Download XLS

COVID-19: Urgent Actions Needed to Better Ensure an Effective Federal Response

Show
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 pursues options to report the actual number of distinct individuals claiming benefits, such as by collecting these already available data from states, starting from January 2020 onward. (Recommendation 8)
Open

DOL partially agreed with our recommendation. Specifically, DOL agreed to pursue options to report the actual number of distinct individuals claiming UI benefits. However, DOL did not agree with the recommended retroactive effective date of the reporting. In a letter dated March 30, 2021, DOL stated that it had begun developing a new state report that would capture data related to distinct individuals claiming regular UI benefits; DOL estimated that this data collection might begin in early 2022. DOL also reiterated its concerns about the feasibility of states' reporting this information

Unemployment Insurance: Actions Needed to Ensure Consistent Reporting of Overpayments and Claimants' Compliance with Work Search Requirements

Show
2 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Labor
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Assistant Secretary of DOL's Employment and Training Administration should provide states with information about its determination that the use of state formal warning policies is no longer permissible under federal law. (Recommendation 1)
Open

DOL agreed with this recommendation and stated that it would take action to provide states with information about its determination that the use of state formal warning policies is no longer permissible under federal law. In February 2020, DOL's Employment and Training Administration issued a notice and held a webinar, which encouraged states to adopt model work search legislation. As of June 2021, DOL's work with the Office of Management and Budget to develop new guidance explicitly informing states that formal warning policies are not permissible continues to be delayed because the agency

Department of Labor
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Assistant Secretary of DOL's Employment and Training Administration should clarify information on work search verification requirements in its revised Benefit Accuracy Measurement procedures. The revised procedures should include an explanation of what DOL considers to be sufficient verification of claimants' work search activities. (Recommendation 3)
Open

DOL agreed with this recommendation and stated that it would clarify information on work search verification requirements in its revised Benefit Accuracy Measurement procedures. As of June 2021, DOL's work to update the procedures continues to be delayed as the agency had to focus on implementing new programs and other supports to help workers through the COVID-19 pandemic. To fully implement this recommendation, DOL should finalize and publish these instructions on verifying claimants' work search activities and provide the clear directions to states.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Strengthening Oversight Could Improve Federal Contractor Nondiscrimination Compliance

Show
1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Labor
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
To ensure that federal contractors are complying with equal employment opportunity requirements, the Secretary of Labor should direct the Director of OFCCP to develop a mechanism to monitor AAPs from covered federal contractors on a regular basis. Such a mechanism could include electronically collecting AAPs and contractor certification of annual updates.
Open

Since 2018, OFCCP issued Directive 2018-07, Affirmative Action Program (AAP) Verification Initiative, publicly committing to a comprehensive program to verify that federal contractors are complying with AAP obligations on a yearly basis. The program included development of an online portal whereby contractors would certify on a yearly basis compliance with AAP requirements. The Task Order to develop the portal for the Verification Initiative expired on September 30, 2019 without fully completing the project. A new contract was awarded in September 2019 to continue this work. In December 2020

Workplace Safety and Health: Additional Efforts Needed to Help Protect Health Care Workers from Workplace Violence

Show
1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Labor
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
To help determine whether current efforts are effective or if additional action may be needed, such as development of a workplace violence prevention standard for health care employers, the Secretary of Labor should direct the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health to develop and implement cost-effective ways to assess the results of the agency's efforts to address workplace violence.
Open

According to OSHA officials, the agency had a study underway to review OSHA's workplace violence enforcement cases in health care to better understand the obstacles OSHA compliance officers encountered during these investigations and identify factors which led to citations. The study was intended to help compliance officers develop citations in workplace violence cases. In December 2016, OSHA published a Request for Information on Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance (RFI) to help identify workplace violence prevention requirements that could be effective and

401(K) Plans: Greater Protections Needed for Forced Transfers and Inactive Accounts

Show
1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Labor
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
To ensure that individuals have access to consolidated online information about their multiple 401(k) plan accounts, the Secretary of Labor should convene a taskforce to consider establishing a national pension registry. The taskforce could include industry professionals, plan sponsor representatives, consumer representatives, and relevant federal government stakeholders, such as representatives from Social Security Administration, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and Internal Revenue Service, who could identify areas to be addressed through the regulatory process, as well as those that may require legislative action.
Open

As of April 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) has not allocated staff or other resources to look at convening a task force of stakeholders to consider the need for a national pension registry. The agency previously noted the PBGC's expansion of its registry of accounts left in closed defined benefit plans to include accounts in 401(k) plans. However, PBGC's expansion included only transfers from terminating 401(k) plans, not from active plans. DOL decided not to establish a registry, citing its limited authority, resource constraints, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC)

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.