Recommendations Database

Jump To:

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.

Search for open recommendations by agency, topic, subject, or keyword/phrase below, or view all open recommendations by agency.

Skip to main search results
Clear All Filters
1 - 13 of 13 Recommendations, including 1 Priority Recommendations

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program: USDA Should Conduct More Rigorous Reviews of Payments to Producers

Show
4 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Farm Service Agency The Administrator of FSA should conduct additional spot checks of CFAP payments and use a more risk-based approach to selecting producers for review. This approach could include focusing on producers of commodities not generally covered by other FSA programs and producers that received large payments. (Recommendation 1)
Open

As of September 21, 2022, FSA has not taken action to implement our recommendation.

Farm Service Agency The Administrator of FSA should issue guidance directing the agency to identify factors, such as large claims for commodities with which FSA is unfamiliar, that county offices should consider when selecting producers for CFAP spot checks. (Recommendation 2)
Open

As of September 21, 2022, FSA has not taken action to implement our recommendation.

Farm Service Agency The Administrator of FSA should direct agency officials conducting CFAP payment spot checks to (1) use support generated by third parties; or (2) if such support is not available, document why support self-generated by the producer was accepted. (Recommendation 3)
Open

As of September 21, 2022, FSA has not taken action to implement our recommendation.

Farm Service Agency The Administrator of FSA should direct state offices to monitor the quality of the county offices' spot checks for CFAP. Such monitoring could include a review of selected spot checks to ensure their accuracy. (Recommendation 4)
Open

As of September 21, 2022, FSA has not taken action to implement our recommendation.

USDA Market Facilitation Program: Oversight of Future Supplemental Assistance to Farmers Could Be Improved

Show
4 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Farm Service Agency The Administrator of FSA should issue guidance directing the agency to design its data collection and analysis for future compliance reviews of supplemental assistance programs in a way that ensures reliable results by using sound statistical methodologies, defining objectives, identifying the information requirements to meet objectives, and processing data into quality information that achieves objectives. (Recommendation 1)
Open

In commenting on our draft report, FSA agreed with this recommendation. Specifically, FSA stated that for future programs, the agency "will use sound statistical methodologies, define objectives, and identify requirements/documentation to support those objectives with assistance from PAR [the FPAC Business Center's Performance Accountability and Risk division] to ensure sampling methods are consistent across programs." We will follow up with FSA regarding this recommendation and provide an update when we have additional information.

Farm Service Agency
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Administrator of FSA should issue guidance directing the agency to assess risk characteristics and take a more complete risk-based approach in selecting samples for future compliance reviews of supplemental assistance programs. This approach could include focusing on farming operations that received substantially large payments and new customers for which FSA does not have other information to corroborate eligibility for program participation. (Recommendation 2)
Open

In commenting on our draft report, FSA agreed with this recommendation. Specifically, FSA stated that the agency "will collaborate with supporting agency divisions to identify and assess risk characteristics that may include payment eligibility as well as program eligibility for a more complete risk-based approach in selecting samples." We will follow up with FSA regarding this recommendation and provide an update when we have additional information.

Farm Service Agency The Administrator of FSA should issue guidance directing the agency to document the rationale for the tolerance level (e.g., the allowable percentage difference between farming operations' actual production and their claimed production) used in future compliance reviews of supplemental assistance programs. (Recommendation 3)
Open

In commenting on our draft report, FSA agreed with this recommendation. Specifically, FSA stated that the agency "will utilize variances allowed in established programs for certified production and acreage-based benefit programs, as well as acceptable documentation to support certified ownership share of production for payment." We will follow up with FSA regarding this recommendation and provide an update when we have additional information.

Farm Service Agency The Administrator of FSA should issue guidance directing the agency to communicate the results of its future compliance reviews of supplemental assistance programs, including a summary of findings and the types of errors found, and identify corrective actions to be taken. (Recommendation 4)
Open

In commenting on our draft report, FSA agreed with this recommendation. Specifically, FSA stated that the agency "will continue to utilize national directives to report the results of compliance reviews, including reviews conducted by other divisions or audits conducted by other agencies or contractors, which will include a summary of the findings, the types of errors found, and the corrective actions to be taken." We will follow up with FSA regarding this recommendation and provide an update when we have additional information.

Farm Programs: USDA Has Improved Its Completion of Eligibility Compliance Reviews, but Additional Oversight Is Needed

Show
5 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Farm Service Agency The FSA Administrator should improve the accuracy of compliance review tracking system data by establishing controls, including electronic safeguards such as preventing a compliance review from being entered as both waived and completed. (Recommendation 1)
Open

USDA agreed with this recommendation. When we confirm what actions USDA has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Farm Service Agency The FSA Administrator should build upon ongoing efforts to improve the monitoring of the compliance review tracking system data by updating the FSA handbook to specify how to periodically run reports on the status and results of compliance reviews, the types of information to examine during these periodic checks on these reviews, and how frequently to perform these checks. (Recommendation 2)
Open

USDA agreed with this recommendation. When we confirm what actions USDA has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Farm Service Agency The FSA Administrator should examine compliance review teams' use of interviews of farming operation members and provide additional guidance or training as necessary. (Recommendation 3)
Open

USDA agreed with this recommendation. When we confirm what actions USDA has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Farm Service Agency The FSA Administrator should examine the extent to which compliance review teams documented the reasons for not doing an interview and provide additional guidance or training as necessary. (Recommendation 4)
Open

USDA agreed with this recommendation. When we confirm what actions USDA has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Farm Service Agency The FSA Administrator should examine compliance review teams' completion of compliance review records and provide additional guidance or training as necessary. (Recommendation 5)
Open

USDA agreed with this recommendation. When we confirm what actions USDA has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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.