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.
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.
Until the 1970s, mine operators could mine for valuable hardrock minerals—i.e., gold or copper—then abandon the land. On lands they oversee, federal agencies identified about 140,000 remnants of these hardrock mines, including unsecured tunnels and toxic waste piles.
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.
Small communities may lack the resources needed to maintain or replace drinking water systems. New or nonconventional approaches have the potential to do a better, more cost-effective job of providing drinking water.
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.
Environmental justice seeks to address the disproportionately high health and environmental risks found among low-income and minority communities by seeking their fair treatment and involvement in environmental policy.
Researchers often use animals to study disease, test product safety, experiment, or teach. Some uses cause animals pain or distress. Federal agencies require researchers to consider alternatives to animal use, such as computer modeling or working with cell cultures.
We testified about our earlier work on “sustainable chemistry” that drew on an extensive literature review, 82 interviews, a meeting of experts, and a survey of 27 chemical companies.
These sources didn't agree on how to define sustainable chemistry or measure sustainability.