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 3, 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 - 3 of 3 Recommendations
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Veterans Health Care: VA Needs to Improve Its Allocation and Monitoring of Funding

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Veterans Health Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The VA Under Secretary of Health should revise its existing guidance to require VISNs—in conjunction with medical centers—to develop and submit approaches to improve efficiency at medical centers with declining workload that received adjusted funding levels. These approaches could include adjusting the level of services offered. (Recommendation 4)
Open

VA agreed in principle with our recommendation. In March 2021, VHA stated that it is conducting market assessments over a multi-year period to increase access and quality of care to veterans. VHA said that after completing the market assessments and reviewing information from other VHA efforts, it may consider adjusting the level of services along with other alternatives. VHA expects to complete these actions by January 2022.

Veterans Health Administration: Better Data and Evaluation Could Help Improve Physician Staffing, Recruitment, and Retention Strategies

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Veterans Health Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Undersecretary for Health should develop and implement a process to accurately count all physicians providing care at each medical center, including physicians who are not employed by VHA. (Recommendation 1)
Open

As of August 2020, VHA continues to disagree with the recommendation and has not taken any action. Although VA responded to our report by stating that the ability to count physicians does not affect its ability to assess workload, we maintain that an accurate count of all physicians providing care at each medical center is necessary for accurate workforce planning. To implement the first recommendation, VHA needs to develop a system-wide process to collect information on all physicians providing care at VAMCs, including physicians that are not employed by VHA. This information should be

Veterans Health Care: Additional Actions Could Further Improve Policy Management

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Veterans Health Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Under Secretary for Health should further clarify when and for what purposes each national policy and guidance document type should be used, including whether guidance documents, such as program office memos, should be vetted and recertified. (Recommendation 1)
Open

VA agreed with our recommendation. In October 2019, VHA issued an interim policy on program office memos (also known as "operational memos") that described how these guidance documents should be vetted and recertified. For example, operational memos issued after VHA's new interim policy will expire 2 years after publication if no further action is taken. In November 2019, VHA further clarified in another interim policy the purpose of all national policy and guidance documents, including the purpose and audience for each document type. VHA interim policy, by definition, is automatically

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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.