Reports & Testimonies

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.

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National Labor Relations Board: New Protocols Aim to Prevent Errors When Swearing in Board Members

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The National Labor Relations Board is an agency that addresses complaints of unfair labor practices and protects employees' right to unionize. NLRB is headed by a five-member board. Each member of the board is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. After Senate confirmation, board nominees receive a signed presidential commission and are then sworn into office. On August 28, 2021, NLRB mistakenly...

National Security Snapshot: DOD Active-Duty Recruitment and Retention Challenges

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According to the Department of Defense, only a quarter of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 can meet military service requirements, such as those for education and physical fitness. So how can DOD maintain the number of active-duty service members it needs for national security? This Snapshot looks at our prior work on military recruitment and retention. We've recommended ways to help DOD...

Food Prices: Information on Trends, Factors, and Federal Roles

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From 2021-22, U.S. retail food prices rose by 11%—the largest annual increase in over 40 years. Rising food prices particularly impact low-income consumers, who spend about 30% of their income on food. Many factors influencing the food supply chain can affect retail food prices, such as global trade issues, pandemics, animal and plant disease outbreaks, and war. Federal agencies don't control food prices, but may...

Immigrant Investor Program: Opportunities Exist to Improve Fraud and National Security Risk Monitoring

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Under the Immigrant Investor Program, foreign nationals who invest in projects that create or sustain U.S. jobs can get a visa and a path to citizenship. The program presents unique fraud and national security risks for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to address, such as schemes to defraud immigrant investors. While USCIS collects some data on fraud and national security risks, more specific data—such...

Oversight of Agency Spending: Implementing GAO Recommendations Could Help Address Previously Identified Challenges at Commerce, DOE, and EPA

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The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Energy and the EPA have received billions in funding in recent years for clean energy, water and infrastructure, and climate resilience programs and projects (among others). This testimony discusses these agencies' challenges with effectively managing such programs and projects, including keeping costs on track. For example, DOE spent $472 million on the definition and design of 4 carbon capture...

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Sustainable Aviation Fuel: Agencies Should Track Progress Toward Ambitious Federal Goals

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To reduce aviation greenhouse gas emissions, the White House issued a "Grand Challenge" that aims to increase the production of sustainable jet fuel to 3 billion gallons per year by 2030. Its goal is also to produce enough fuel to meet 100% of commercial jet fuel demand by 2050. Currently, this fuel is used at two large airports, but accounts for less than 0.1% of...

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Maritime Security: Coast Guard and CBP Efforts to Address Prior GAO Recommendations on Asset and Workforce Needs

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This testimony examines some Department of Homeland Security challenges with Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection operations. In prior work, we reviewed how DHS assessed the costs and benefits of consolidating Coast Guard and CBP maritime stations. DHS developed a way to compare these costs in September 2021. We also review Coast Guard and CBP's workforce challenges. We recommended that Coast Guard analyze its...

Critical Infrastructure Protection: Time Frames to Complete CISA Efforts Would Help Sector Risk Management Agencies Implement Statutory Responsibilities

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Protecting critical infrastructure that helps provide necessities like water, electricity, and food is a national priority. Events like natural disasters or cyberattacks can disrupt services Americans need for daily life. We testified that many federal agencies work to protect the nation's critical infrastructure and look to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency for leadership on how to do it. A 2021 law expanded these agencies'...

Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request: U.S. Government Accountability Office

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For the last 5 years, our work yielded an average of $145 in financial benefits for every $1 invested in us, as well as an annual average of more than 1,300 other benefits. In this testimony before the House Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro discusses GAO's FY 2024 budget request. Meeting Congress's growing demand for GAO's services...

Regenerative Medicine and Advanced Therapies: Information on Workforce and Education

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Regenerative medicine and advanced therapies—such as stem cell transplants—seek to repair, replace, or restore function to damaged cells, tissues, or organs. These therapies aim to address the causes of and cure previously untreatable conditions. The development of such therapies depends on an educated, well-trained workforce—often requiring advanced degrees and specialized lab training. Stakeholders identified workforce shortages for lab and manufacturing technicians, data scientists, and others...

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VA Health Care: Improved Data, Planning, and Communication Needed for Infrastructure Modernization and Realignment

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VA's health care system offers services to more than 9.5 million people. But VA's facilities are aging, and upgrading them to meet veterans' needs will be a massive undertaking that could cost up to $76 billion. VA developed more than 1,400 recommendations for modernizing and realigning its health care infrastructure, such as closing some medical facilities and establishing new ones. However, we found gaps in...

COVID-19 in Nursing Homes: Experts Identified Actions Aimed at Improving Infection Prevention and Control

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Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable populations for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Proper infection control practices—like handwashing—remain critical to the safety of over 1 million U.S. nursing home residents. We convened a panel of infectious disease specialists, nursing home staff, advocates, and other experts to examine infection control practices in nursing homes. These experts identified 14 actions for the Department of Health...

Federal Prisons: Bureau of Prisons Should Improve Efforts to Implement its Risk and Needs Assessment System

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About 45% of people released from federal prison are re-arrested or return within 3 years. The First Step Act of 2018 requires the Bureau of Prisons to regularly assess incarcerated people's needs and their risk of reoffending. But the Bureau doesn't have reliable data on the timeliness of completing such assessments and lacks clear, measurable goals and milestones to evaluate whether its programs are working...

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Haiti: L’USAID et le département d’État devraient améliorer la gestion et l’évaluation des activités de reconstruction

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To see the version of this page in English, see GAO-23-105211. L'Agence des États-Unis pour le développement international (USAID) a fourni 2 milliards de dollars pour soutenir la reconstruction et le développement en Haïti pendant les exercices budgétaires 2010-2020. Elle a achevé la moitié des projets d'infrastructures que nous avons examinés—comme la construction d'une centrale électrique—mais la plupart des projets ont été retardés, ont coûté...

Haiti: USAID and State Should Improve Management and Assessment of Reconstruction Activities

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Pour la version française de cette page, voir GAO-23-106250. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $2 billion to support reconstruction and development in Haiti during FYs 2010-2020. It completed half of the infrastructure projects we reviewed—such as constructing a power plant—but most projects were delayed, cost more than planned, or had to be scaled back. USAID developed unrealistic estimates of costs and timeframes...

Management Report: Continued Improvements Needed in the Bureau of the Fiscal Service's Information System Controls Related to the Schedule of Federal Debt

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Treasury's Fiscal Service issues debt to borrow money for federal operations, and reports the debt on financial statements called the Schedules of Federal Debt. We audit and issue opinions annually on the Schedules and on related internal controls (e.g., processes to reasonably assure that transactions are properly authorized and recorded). In FY 2022, Fiscal Service addressed 8 of our previous recommendations to correct weaknesses in...

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Electronic Health Record Modernization: VA Needs to Address Change Management Challenges, User Satisfaction, and System Issues

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Veterans Affairs is in the process of replacing its IT system used to maintain veterans' health records—and has deployed its new system to a few locations. We testified that the new system has presented issues for some users. For example, many users said that they weren't adequately trained to use the new system. Users also said that the new system had decreased morale and job...

Disaster Assistance: Action Needed to Improve Resilience, Response, and Recovery

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The federal government provides billions of dollars to help people before, during, and after disasters like wildfires and hurricanes. This Snapshot covers our work on disaster-related federal efforts. We've found ways to improve federal efforts, including: Making it easier to get FEMA grants for disaster resilience projects Communicating better about FEMA assistance eligibility requirements Ensuring that HUD's housing-related disaster assistance reaches affected communities quickly We...

Generic Drugs: Stakeholder Views on Improving FDA's Information on Patents

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The Orange Book is a list of FDA-approved drugs. It helps generic drug companies identify when patents for brand name drugs will expire so they can market generic equivalents. For makers of brand name drugs, listing patents gives them time to resolve patent disputes before a generic can be offered for sale. Views varied, but some stakeholders had concerns that certain patent listing practices can...