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.

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Federal Research: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Public Access to Research Results

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
As the Subcommittee on Open Science moves forward, the Office of Science and Technology Policy co-chair, in coordination with other co-chairs and participating agencies, should take steps to fully implement leading practices that enhance and sustain collaboration. (Recommendation 32)
Open

OSTP disagreed with GAO's November 2019 recommendation but has taken steps to begin implementing it. In OSTP's comments on the report, it stated that the subcommittee had already taken steps to implement the leading practices GAO identified; however, OSTP officials did not provide documentation of these efforts and GAO continues to believe the recommendation is warranted. In October 2020 and May 2021, OSTP provided information on steps the subcommittee has taken to address issues associated with public access to federally funded research results, including certain areas GAO identified as

Science and Technology: Considerations for Maintaining U.S. Competitiveness in Quantum Computing, Synthetic Biology, and Other Potentially Transformational Research Areas

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
As the Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science (QIS Subcommittee) moves forward, the Office of Science and Technology Policy co-chair, in coordination with other co-chairs and participating agency officials, should take steps to fully implement leading practices that enhance and sustain collaboration. (Recommendation 1)
Open

OSTP agreed with GAO's September 2018 recommendation despite expressing some concerns about required resources and, as of May 2021, had taken steps to work with the other co-chairs of the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science (SCQIS) to implement it. The SCQIS, created pursuant to the National Quantum Initiative Act, enacted in 2018, continues to be led by four co-chairs from the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation (NSF), and OSTP. In addition, the National

Advanced Technologies: Strengthened Federal Approach Needed to Help Identify and Mitigate Supply Risks for Critical Raw Materials

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
To enhance the ability of the Executive Office of the President to coordinate federal agencies to carry out the national materials policy outlined in the 1980 Act, and to broaden future applications of the early warning screening methodology, the Subcommittee should take the steps necessary to include potentially critical materials beyond minerals, such as developing a plan or strategy for prioritizing additional materials for which actions are needed to address data limitations.
Open

In September 2017, OSTP provided updated information on its efforts to implement recommendations from GAO-16-699. OSTP stated that "the Subcommittee shares GAO's interest in improving data availability and granularity. However, in some cases, private entities and foreign governments may be unwilling or unable to provide (or even collect) such data. Additionally, the Subcommittee member agencies' financial and personnel resources are limited, and significant additional resources would be required to prioritize and pursue the data for additional materials and critical materials beyond minerals

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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.