GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
The COVID-19 pandemic shows how catastrophic biological incidents can cause substantial loss of life and damage the economy. The 2018 National Biodefense Strategy outlines how to prepare for and respond to such incidents.
We make more than 1,000 recommendations annually to help improve government. We alert department heads to the recommendations that can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve their operations.
In 2018, the administration released its government-wide reform plan aimed at making the federal government more efficient and effective. The Office of Management and Budget oversees the proposals with support from other lead agencies.
In fiscal year 2019, agencies across government made an estimated $175 billion in improper payments—payments that should not have been made or were made in the incorrect amount. But this total comes from individual agency estimates, which aren’t all reliable.
Q: How does the government help keep banks, water systems, and other critical infrastructure from getting hacked?
A: A federal agency that issues standards and procedures—NIST—has a cybersecurity framework that critical infrastructure organizations can adopt.
Extreme weather related to climate change potentially threatens utilities that produce drinking water and treat wastewater.
We examined federal technical and financial assistance to make such infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather and asked experts about additional options.
Federal agencies are increasingly using cloud computing services. Cloud computing offers benefits but also poses cybersecurity risks. OMB requires agencies to use the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program to authorize their use of cloud services.
There were 14 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events in the U.S. in 2018—with a total cost of at least $91 billion. These costs will likely rise as the climate changes, researchers say.