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.
This report provides an update on the federal government’s fiscal condition at the end of FY 2019 and the unsustainable path it is on if policies don’t change.
Among its findings:
Publicly held debt rose to 79% of GDP.
The U.S. Postal Service has over 31,000 retail facilities—a network reaching into almost every community in the nation. As demand for some mail products has declined, USPS has been unable to cover its costs as it is required to do—putting it on our High Risk list.
Some criminal groups use a process called trade-based money laundering to launder their illicit money. These schemes can include things like falsely describing goods and services in trade transactions.
Banks are required to report suspicious financial transactions to the Treasury Department.
Every major federal department has at least 2 trust funds or dedicated funds that pay for key programs. The money comes from related taxes, fees, and premiums—e.g., U.S. postage stamp revenue goes to the Postal Service Fund.
The federal government relies on commercial credit agencies to help verify the identities of people who apply for benefits online—such as asking personal questions from credit files. However, the 2017 Equifax data breach has raised questions about this practice.
Not all federal funding is reviewed each year as part of the annual appropriations process. For example, Congress can make a law that allows an agency to collect fees for services, such as copyright registration fees, and use that money without further congressional action.
What GAO Found Plan participants in the United States face challenges after they change jobs, including not receiving communications from their plan sponsor and being vulnerable to unforeseen tax consequences that can result in a loss of retirement savings.
What GAO Found The financial technology (fintech) industry is generally described in terms of subsectors that have or are likely to have the greatest impact on financial services, such as credit and payments.