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 Small Business Innovation Research Program seeks to stimulate technological breakthroughs by channeling federal research and development funds to small businesses. Since 2013, small businesses owned by venture capital companies, hedge funds, or private equity firms may participate in some cases.
Federal student loan borrowers can apply for Income-Driven Repayment plans that use borrowers' taxable income and family size to determine an affordable payment rate. Monthly payments can be as low as $0 and still count toward loan forgiveness after the repayment period.
Federal agencies provide technical assistance to help grant recipients improve their ability to manage grant programs—such as training on project monitoring and evaluation. We reviewed how the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor provide this assistance.
Alternative schools may offer a different educational approach to serve expelled students or others whose needs typically can’t be met in a regular school.
We looked at how 15 states hold alternative schools accountable for academic performance.
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.
In fiscal year 2019, our work yielded a record $214.7 billion in financial benefits, a return of about $338 for every dollar invested in us. We also identified 1,418 other benefits that led to better services for the American people and other improvements across government.
Public access to the results of federally funded research can accelerate scientific breakthroughs. In 2013, certain federal agencies were directed to create plans for increasing access to publications and data they funded.
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.