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.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
Climate change has led to record low levels of ice in the U.S. Arctic—prolonging the shipping season and opening up shipping routes. This may expand economic opportunities, but harsh weather and ice conditions—plus the lack of maritime infrastructure—pose safety risks.
In October 2015, a cargo ship from the United States sank at sea during a hurricane, killing all 33 crew members. Concerns with the ship’s safety plan raised questions about how the Coast Guard ensures that U.S. commercial ships comply with safety regulations.
Recent attacks in the U.S. and Europe highlight the importance of strengthening and securing rail systems around the world.
Among other things, we looked at how the U.S. Transportation Security Administration works with U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) research, develop, and test technologies to address threats to mass transit systems.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway serves more than 100 ports and supplies drinking water for millions of people. To protect it, federal law requires foreign commercial vessels to use local registered pilots for navigation.
More than 2.7 million miles of pipeline transport the natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids the nation needs. The Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation share responsibility for safeguarding these pipelines along with pipeline operators.
To improve safety in commercial fishing, many boats are required to be built and maintained under rules set by organizations that certify them in a process called "classing." Another certification process, called "alternative-to-class," was introduced in 2016.
What GAO Found The U.S. Navy, the Coast Guard's independent test agent, completed initial testing for the National Security Cutter (NSC) in April 2014 and rated the NSC as operationally effective and suitable. Still, testing revealed 10 major deficiencies (some are shown in figure).