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As of February 1, 2023, there are 4825 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 464 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 - 4 of 4 Recommendations, including 0 Priority Recommendations

Alaska Native Issues: Federal Agencies Could Enhance Support for Native Village Efforts to Address Environmental Threats

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Natural Resources Conservation Service The Chief of NRCS should review NRCS's programs identified in this report and, where the agency determines it feasible and appropriate, implement relevant changes to address program characteristics that are not established in statute that pose obstacles to Alaska Native villages' obtaining assistance, including characteristics we identified and others that NRCS may identify. NRCS should also document its review, any related consultation with tribes, and any changes made to its programs. (Recommendation 8)
Open

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

Emergency Watershed Protection: Assistance Program Helps Meet Post-Disaster Needs and Could Be Improved with Additional Guidance

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Natural Resources Conservation Service The Chief of NRCS should assess the time limits for EWP projects and determine whether program regulations need to be revised. In doing so, NRCS may wish to consider collecting data on how long it takes for projects to be completed and the frequency and durations of waivers on time limits, and challenges that stakeholders identified. (Recommendation 1)
Open

NRCS concurred with this recommendation and stated in October 2021 that the Chief of NRCS will work with his leadership team to review completion rates for EWP projects and the frequency and duration of waivers on time limits, as well as challenges that stakeholders identified. In January 2023, NRCS stated that NRCS plans to collect data on how long it takes for projects to be completed and that following that analysis, NRCS will decide if the regulations need to be changed. NRCS aims to complete this analysis in 2023.

Natural Resources Conservation Service The Chief of NRCS should ensure, as the agency continues working on developing a sponsor guide for the EWP program, that the guide clarifies areas of limited guidance identified by stakeholders. In particular, the Chief should incorporate information regarding how and when EWP projects can be done on National Forest System and other federal lands into the guide. (Recommendation 4)
Open – Partially Addressed

NRCS concurred with this recommendation. In October 2021, NRCS released a sponsor guide that clarifies some of the areas of limited guidance identified by stakeholders. For example, the guide outlines the process to request EWP assistance, defines financial and technical assistance, and describes the reimbursement process. The 2021 version of the guide does not, however, incorporate information regarding how and when EWP projects can be done on National Forest System and other federal lands. Officials stated in January 2023 that NRCS will continue to update the sponsor guide to reflect updated

Farm Programs: USDA Should Take Additional Steps to Ensure Compliance with Wetland Conservation Provisions

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Natural Resources Conservation Service The Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service should clarify guidance on the annual compliance check (in its National Food Security Act Manual) to ensure that a risk-based approach is used in selecting a sample, which could include using crop acreage reports and other sources of information to identify anomalies associated with higher-risk tracts. (Recommendation 4)
Open

As of August 2022, the agency has not implemented this recommendation. In comments on our draft report, the Natural Resources Conservation Service agreed with our recommendation and said it would work with the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency to develop an approach for sample selection.

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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.