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.
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.
What GAO Found In fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the Forest Service received discretionary no-year appropriations of $5.1 billion and $5.7 billion, respectively. It is critical for the Forest Service to manage its budgetary resources efficiently and effectively.
What GAO FoundIn summary, there were nearly 70 different types of leasable minerals extracted from federal lands and waters in fiscal years 2010 and 2011, but their volume cannot be aggregated because they use different units of measure.
What GAO Found The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Forest Service, and the Department of Energy (DOE) are the key agencies that oversee uranium exploration and extraction on federal land, but GAO identified three areas where their oversight processes differ.
The General Mining Act of 1872 helped foster the development of the West by giving individuals exclusive rights to mine gold, silver, copper, and other hardrock minerals on federal land. However, miners often abandoned mines, leaving behind structures, safety hazards, and contaminated land and water.
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service manage about 628 million acres of public land, mostly in 11 western states and Alaska.
The nation has experienced vast losses from natural hazards. The potential for future events, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, demonstrates the importance of hazard mitigation--actions that reduce the long-term risks to life and property from natural hazard events.
For years, GAO has raised concerns about the ability of the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (Service) to track the amounts it obligates for and spends on timber sales and to use this information in managing the sales.
In recent years, Congress has expressed concerns about the federal land management agencies' ability to provide quality recreational opportunities and reduce visitor confusion over the variety of user fees.