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As of January 31, 2023, there are 4840 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 471 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

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1 - 20 of 77 Recommendations, including 10 Priority Recommendations
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Commerce Working Capital Fund: Policy and Performance Measure Enhancements Could Help Strengthen Management

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4 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce Commerce's Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration should document in the WCF Handbook the process, including roles and responsibilities, for determining and reviewing whether activities should be funded through the WCF or through another account, such as Commerce's Salaries and Expenses appropriation account. (Recommendation 1)
Open

In its comments on our report, Commerce agreed with this recommendation and stated that it plans to document this process in the next Working Capital Fund Handbook. When we confirm what actions Commerce has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce Commerce's Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration should document a policy for managing the WCF's balances—including the end-of-year unobligated and obligated balances—that describes how fund managers should evaluate, use, and maintain the balances over time. (Recommendation 2)
Open

In its comments on our report, Commerce agreed with this recommendation and stated that it plans to document a policy for managing the Working Capital Fund's (WCF) balances in the next WCF Handbook. When we confirm what actions Commerce has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce Commerce's Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration should create performance measures and a process for evaluating the WCF's overall management, such as measuring the billing error rates or the reliability of cost information. These performance measures should be aligned with Commerce's strategic goals to help determine if the WCF is operating effectively. (Recommendation 3)
Open

In its comments on our report, Commerce agreed with this recommendation and stated that it plans to create new performance measures to evaluate the Working Capital Fund's overall management. When we confirm what actions Commerce has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce Commerce's Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration should coordinate with OSFM and WCF service providers to create and document a process to regularly review the results of WCF performance measures. (Recommendation 4)
Open

In its comments on our report, Commerce agreed with this recommendation and stated that it plans to coordinate with Working Capital Fund service providers and customers to regularly review and communicate the results of performance measures. When we confirm what actions Commerce has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Working Dogs: Federal Agencies Need to Better Address Health and Welfare

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce should direct all of the Department of Commerce's agencies with contractor-managed working dog programs to ensure that all 18 issues GAO identified as important to the health and welfare of working dogs are addressed, as appropriate, in future contracts. (Recommendation 11)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Privacy: Dedicated Leadership Can Improve Programs and Address Challenges

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce should ensure that its organization-wide risk management strategy includes key elements, including a determination of privacy risk tolerance. (Recommendation 9)
Open

The Department of Commerce agreed with our recommendation and stated that it planned to develop a formal action plan. Once the department states that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.

Tribal Economic Development: Action is Needed to Better Understand the Extent of Federal Support

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce should establish an organizational structure and assign responsibilities for the Office of Native American Business Development. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Director of Commerce's Office of Native American Business Development, in coordination with other relevant federal agencies and entities, should create, maintain, and share a repository of information on economic development programs across federal agencies that tribal entities can access, and should assist tribal entities in identifying programs best suited to their needs. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Director of Commerce's Office of Native American Business Development, in coordination with tribes, should establish a plan for periodically publicly reporting the amount of economic development assistance provided by Commerce to tribal entities and using that information to identify opportunities to improve assistance to tribal entities. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Export Controls: Enforcement Agencies Should Better Leverage Information to Target Efforts Involving U.S. Universities

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce should ensure that the Under Secretary for Industry and Security identifies relevant risk factors and analyzes this information to identify universities at greater risk for sensitive technology transfers, including unauthorized deemed exports. (Recommendation 1)
Open

The Department of Commerce concurred with the recommendation, but it did not provide an action plan for addressing the recommendation. As of July 2022 we had not received an update from the agency concerning actions taken to address the recommendation. We will continue to monitor Commerce's progress in implementing this recommendation.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce should ensure that the Under Secretary for Industry and Security shares the results of any analyses aimed at identifying U.S. universities at greater risk for sensitive technology transfers, including unauthorized deemed exports, with EE field offices. (Recommendation 2)
Open

The Department of Commerce concurred with the recommendation, but it did not provide an action plan for addressing the recommendation. As of July 2022 we had not received an update from the agency concerning actions taken to address the recommendation. We will continue to monitor Commerce's progress in implementing this recommendation.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce should ensure that the Under Secretary for Industry and Security implements a mechanism to periodically assess the relevance and sufficiency of risk factors used for prioritizing universities for outreach to address new or evolving threats to U.S. university research, including threats pertaining to sensitive technology transfers and unauthorized deemed exports. (Recommendation 3)
Open

The Department of Commerce concurred with the recommendation, but it did not provide an action plan for addressing the recommendation. As of July 2022 we had not received an update from the agency concerning actions taken to address the recommendation. We will continue to monitor Commerce's progress in implementing this recommendation.

Economic and Commercial Diplomacy: State and Commerce Could Build on Efforts to Improve Coordination and Effectiveness

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8 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should indicate the methods the agencies will use to maintain an effective working relationship in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should clarify how Commerce and State will sustain program leadership over the long term, such as with succession planning, in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should ensure Commerce and State articulate and agree to a process for making and enforcing program decisions in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should ensure that Commerce and State indicate how they will use client feedback on client experiences in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 4)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce should ensure their agencies indicate a method to evaluate outcomes or a way to track or monitor progress toward goals for the program in their guidance cables for the Deal Team Initiative. (Recommendation 5)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce should ensure their agencies specify how Embassy Deal Teams should identify and coordinate the use of dozens of U.S. government programs supporting U.S. commercial interests overseas in their guidance cables for the Deal Team Initiative. (Recommendation 6)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce should clarify how their agencies will sustain program leadership over the long term, such as with succession planning, in their guidance cables for the Deal Team Initiative. (Recommendation 7)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Commerce The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce should ensure their agencies articulate and agree to a process for making and enforcing program decisions in their guidance cables for the Deal Team Initiative. (Recommendation 8)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Note: the list of open recommendations for the last report may continue on the next page.

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.