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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 - 7 of 7 Recommendations, including 0 Priority Recommendations

Earthquakes: Progress Made to Implement Early Warning System, but Actions Needed to Improve Program Management

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7 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
U.S. Geological Survey The Director of USGS should develop a strategic plan for the Earthquake Hazard Program that articulates the fundamental mission of the entire program, lays out its long-term goals for implementing the plan, and identifies the strategies and resources that are needed to reach these goals. (Recommendation 1)
Open

DOI concurred that the Director of USGS should develop a strategic plan for the Earthquake Hazard Program (EHP) that articulates the fundamental mission of the entire program, lays out its long-term goals for implementing the plan, and identifies the strategies and resources that are needed to reach these goals. DOI stated that, it is important to distinguish Strategic Planning documents-which are created at the Agency level, and outline Agency responsibilities and progress towards those goals via tracking performance through established measures, in accordance with the Government Performance

U.S. Geological Survey The Director of USGS should develop performance measures for the strategy to determine whether the Earthquake Hazard Program has achieved the strategy's goals after it has drafted the strategic plan. (Recommendation 2)
Open

DOI concurred that the Director of USGS should develop performance measures for the strategy to determine whether the Earthquake Hazards Program has achieved the strategy's goals after it has drafted the strategic plan. in November 2021, USGS officials reported that they would work with the DOI during the development of its FY 2022 - 2026 Strategic Plan. USGS officials also reported they would ensure that the plan includes appropriate performance measures for the agency's programs, including the EHP by December 2022. We will continue to monitor USGS's efforts to implement our recommendation.

U.S. Geological Survey The Director of USGS should consult with relevant Congressional committees when developing its strategic plan for EHP. (Recommendation 3)
Open

DOI concurred that the Director of USGS should consult with relevant Congressional committees when developing its strategic plan for the Earthquake Hazards Program (EHP). In November 2022, DOI also stated that it will consult with Congress, as appropriate, when developing a strategic science plan for the EHP. According to USGS, these actions will take place prior to the issuance of the EHP strategic plan, which the agency estimates will occur in June 2023. We will continue to monitor USGS's efforts to implement our recommendation.

U.S. Geological Survey The Director of USGS should complete a staffing gap analysis for the Earthquake Hazard Program that is clearly linked to the mission and long-term goals of the Natural Hazards Mission Area and Earthquake Hazard Program's strategic plans. (Recommendation 4)
Open

DOI concurred that the Director of USGS should complete a staffing gap analysis for the Earthquake Hazards Program that is clearly linked to the mission and long-term goals of the Natural Hazards Mission Area and the program's strategic plans. DOI stated that, as part of program's science planning efforts, the Program Office will combine science center staffing plans and identify program-wide needs and overlap of those needs with the strategic directions of the program. In November 2022, USGS officials stated that the EHP Program Office is to combine science center staffing plans and identify

U.S. Geological Survey The Director of USGS should establish a Work Breakdown Structure with identified costs for ShakeAlert consistent with best practices in GAO's cost guide. (Recommendation 5)
Open

DOI stated that it partially concurred with this recommendation. DOI noted that the ShakeAlert Technical Implementation Plan was based on a detailed internal breakdown of costs in accordance with the Work Breakdown Structure approach. In its technical comments USGS provided additional details on the high-level cost categories. However, the plan did not include a dictionary of terms. in November 2022, DOI stated that Earthquake Hazards Program will develop such a dictionary to accompany the cost breakdown by June 2023. We will continue to monitor USGS's efforts to implement our recommendation.

U.S. Geological Survey The Director of USGS should establish a schedule and milestones for ShakeAlert implementation consistent with best practices in GAO's schedule guide. (Recommendation 6)
Open

DOI concurred that the Director of USGS should establish a schedule and milestones for ShakeAlert implementation consistent with best practices in GAO's schedule guide. In November 2022, DOI stated that, the Earthquake Hazards Program will establish an estimate of schedule and milestones for the remainder of system implementation by June 2023. We will continue to monitor USGS's efforts to implement our recommendation.

U.S. Geological Survey The Director of USGS should update and complete the ShakeAlert Communication, Education, and Outreach Plan to clarify and define roles and responsibilities between USGS, the states, and other communication, education, and outreach stakeholders. (Recommendation 7)
Open

DOI concurred that the Director of USGS should update and complete the ShakeAlert Communication, Education, and Outreach Plan to clarify and define roles and responsibilities between USGS, the states, and other communication, education, and outreach stakeholders. in November 2022, DOI stated that the Earthquake Hazards Program will update and complete the draft Communication, Education and Outreach Plan for ShakeAlert by June 2022. We will continue to monitor USGS's efforts to implement our recommendation.

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