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 1, 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.

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1 - 15 of 15 Recommendations
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Navy Readiness: Additional Efforts Are Needed to Manage Fatigue, Reduce Crewing Shortfalls, and Implement Training

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7 Open Recommendations
7 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Office of Chief of Naval Operations and the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet revise guidance to require systematic collection of quality and timely fatigue data from sailors that are accessible to operational commanders to support underway decision-making. (Recommendation 1)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. The Navy has undertaken several actions to revise guidance, such as soliciting inputs for policy changes, convening a working group to chart a way forward, and piloting a risk management tool to aid with fatigue considerations. The Navy expects these actions to be completed in 2022.

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Office of Chief of Naval Operations and the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet use collected data on sailor fatigue to identify, monitor, and evaluate factors that contribute to fatigue and inadequate sleep such as the effects of crew shortfalls, work requirements, administrative requirements, and collateral duties. (Recommendation 2)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. The Navy has two primary efforts to 1) collect biometric sleep, activity, and health data to provide near real-time information, and 2) develop a system to leverage biometric data and assist with watchbill planning and management. The Navy expects to complete these efforts in 2024.

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Office of Chief of Naval Operations and the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet take actions to address the factors causing sailor fatigue and inadequate sleep. (Recommendation 3)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. The Navy has an effort underway to directly measure and overcome barriers to quality sleep, and is currently studying potential improvements to sleeping quarters and other environmental factors such as lighting and noise. The Navy expects to complete these efforts in 2023.

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Office of Chief of Naval Operations and the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet establish a process for identifying and assisting units that have not implemented its fatigue management policy. (Recommendation 4)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. The Navy is pursuing means to collect fatigue information from existing systems and those in development, and to use this information for crew and leadership interventions. The Navy expects to compete these actions in 2023.

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Office of Chief of Naval Operations and the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet revise guidance to institutionalize the practice of using crew requirements to track and report positions that are filled. (Recommendation 5)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. The Navy is now using crew requirements in addition to funded positions to track and report positions that are filled, and is working to institutionalize this practice through an upcoming revision to guidance.

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet establish crewing targets that are based on analysis and assessment of risk. (Recommendation 6)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. Navy officials described the evolutionary process by which crew targets were first established, and the Navy is additionally reviewing crew targets annually and adjusting them as appropriate based on assessments of risk. The Navy expects to review and issue crew targets in an updated guidance document by late 2021, and we will review this in order to support closure of this recommendation as implemented.

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Office of Chief of Naval Operations uses crew requirements to project future personnel needs. (Recommendation 7)
Open

DOD concurred with this recommendation. Navy officials said they generally use funded positions to project personnel needs and plan for annual accessions, but also have the capability to use crew requirements to project personnel needs. We will review any future projections using crew requirements to assess implementation of this recommendation.

Weapon Systems Cybersecurity: Guidance Would Help DOD Programs Better Communicate Requirements to Contractors

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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 develop guidance for acquisition programs on how to incorporate tailored weapon systems cybersecurity requirements, acceptance criteria, and verification processes into contracts. (Recommendation 2)
Open

The Navy concurred with our recommendation. Because this report was recently published, DOD has had limited time to act on these recommendations. We will monitor DOD's efforts to implement these recommendations moving forward.

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should take steps to ensure the Marine Corps develops guidance for acquisition programs on how to incorporate tailored weapon systems cybersecurity requirements, acceptance criteria, and verification processes into contracts. (Recommendation 3)
Open

The Navy partially concurred with our recommendation, stating that a separate recommendation to the Marine Corps was unnecessary given that the Navy and Marine Corps operate under a single acquisition construct. We determined that separate recommendations to each component were appropriate because each maintains independent policies and guidance relevant to weapon systems cybersecurity. Because this report was recently published, DOD has had limited time to act on these recommendations. We will monitor DOD's efforts to implement these recommendations moving forward.

Navy Shipyards: Actions Needed to Address the Main Factors Causing Maintenance Delays for Aircraft Carriers and Submarines

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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 Naval Sea Systems Command develop and implements goals, action plans, milestones, and a monitoring process for its Shipyard Performance to Plan initiative to address the main factors contributing to maintenance delays and improving the timely completion of ship maintenance at Navy shipyards. (Recommendation 3)
Open

The Navy concurred with our recommendation. The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is aligning the Shipyard Performance to Plan (P2P-SY) and Naval Sustainment System - Shipyard (NSS-SY) efforts. Coordination of the these two efforts will connect insights gained from data analysis and comparison of performance to goals of P2P with process improvements and initiatives of NSS-SY. A digital dashboard will be used to communicate data analysis results to project teams for tactical use and to senior Navy leadership for strategic planning and decision making. The Navy estimates it will complete this

Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Naval Sea Systems Command fully analyzes the use of overtime among shipyard production shops, and updates workforce requirements to avoid the consistent use of overtime to meet planned maintenance requirements. (Recommendation 1)
Open

The Navy concurred with our recommendation. During DoD's Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) cycle for fiscal year 2022, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) analyzed its planned maintenance requirements to provide a balanced and executable workload within the public shipyards. Final workload balancing, to include overtime use, for fiscal year 2022 is pending final budget decisions from Navy leadership. Results of this analysis is expected to be included in the Navy's fiscal year 2022 Execution Guidance in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022. In addition, NAVSEA

Navy Shipbuilding: Increasing Focus on Sustainment Early in the Acquisition Process Could Save Billions

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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 direct the ASN (RD&A) to ensure all shipbuilding programs develop and update LCSPs, in accordance with DOD policy, that demonstrate how a ship class can be affordably operated and maintained while meeting sustainment requirements, including associated business case analyses and identifying sustainment risk. (Recommendation 7)
Open

The Navy initially agreed with our second recommendation, but in February 2021 Navy officials said that the Navy did not need to take any action. Navy officials said that the Navy uses DOD's Life-Cycle Sustainment Plan guidance, which Navy officials said supports the requirements in statute and broader acquisition guidance. While we agree that DOD's policy is sufficient, we maintain that the Navy needs to fully complete its Life Cycle Sustainment Plans for all of its shipbuilding programs; something the Navy had not done as of February 2021.

Defense Real Property: DOD Needs to Take Additional Actions to Improve Management of Its Inventory Data

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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 require monitoring of Navy and Marine Corps processes used for recording all required real property information--to include evaluating on an ongoing basis whether or to what extent these activities are being carried out--and remediating any identified deficiencies. (Recommendation 2)
Open

The Navy concurred with this recommendation. As of July 2020, DOD officials stated that the Navy required monitoring of its processes used for recording real property information. Specifically, the Navy established a requirement for a 100% inventory check to ensure existence and completeness of its real property information. As part of DOD larger effort to improve its financial management through the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) guidance, DOD officials also told us that the Navy plans to implement the existence and completeness results provided by an independent Public

Naval Shipyards: Actions Needed to Improve Poor Conditions that Affect Operations

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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 develop a comprehensive plan for shipyard capital investment that establishes (1) the desired goal for the shipyards' condition and capabilities; (2) an estimate of the full costs to implement the plan, addressing all relevant requirements, external risk factors, and associated planning costs; and (3) metrics for assessing progress toward meeting the goal that include measuring the effectiveness of capital investments. (Recommendation 1)
Open

The Navy concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to develop and implement a comprehensive plan. Naval Sea Systems Command produced a Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan in February 2018 to guide the overhaul and improvement of the naval shipyards. This plan includes some of the recommended elements but not others. (1) The plan includes some goals for the desired shipyard condition and capabilities including to: recover almost 70 maintenance periods over the next 20 years, modernize capital equipment to industry standards, optimize facilities, and reduce travel

DOD Service Acquisition: Improved Use of Available Data Needed to Better Manage and Forecast Service Contract Requirements

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Navy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
To ensure that senior leadership within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the military departments are better positioned to make informed decisions regarding the volume and type of services that should be acquired over the future year defense program, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force should revise their programming guidance to collect information on how contracted services will be used to meet requirements beyond the budget year.
Open

DOD partially concurred with our recommendation. In its response, the Department did not identify what action, if any, it planned to take to implement this recommendation, and noted the difficulties in accurately quantifying service contract requirements beyond the budget year. We maintain that collecting this information will assist the department in gaining insights into contracted service requirements and making more strategic decisions about the services it plans to acquire. In February 2021, we reported (see GAO-21-267R) that DOD officials told us they are reviewing systems that may allow

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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.