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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F-35 Aircraft: DOD and the Military Services Need to Reassess the Future Sustainment Strategy

GAO-23-105341
Published: . Publicly Released: .
In the coming decades, the Department of Defense plans to spend an estimated $1.7 trillion on nearly 2,500 F-35s. Most of the funds will go to operating, maintaining, and repairing the aircraft. DOD faces costly maintenance issues for the F-35, such as: Delays setting up military service depots—facilities to complete the most complex repairs Inadequate equipment to keep aircraft operational Maintenance and supply delays affecting...

Medicaid Program Integrity: Opportunities Exist for CMS to Strengthen Use of State Auditor Findings and Collaboration

GAO-23-105881
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States and the federal government work together to fund Medicaid and protect it from payment errors and fraud. State auditors provide independent reviews of their state's compliance with federal funding requirements and other program rules. Their findings reveal problems such as ineligible beneficiaries and errors in state spending. Federal Medicaid officials started using these findings and collaborating with state auditors to improve the program, but...

COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund: HRSA Continues to Recover Remaining Payments Due from Providers

GAO-23-106083
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The Provider Relief Fund spent $135 billion to help health care providers with COVID -related expenses and lost revenue during the pandemic. Most of the relief payments—about $85 billion—went to hospital-based health systems and hospital-affiliated providers. To confirm that payments were accurate, the Health Resources and Services Administration took steps to review provider eligibility and if funds were used appropriately. In doing so, it found...

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Medicare Part D: CMS Should Monitor Effects of Rebates on Drug Coverage and Spending

GAO-23-107056
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This testimony discusses the key role of Medicare Part D drug coverage in giving beneficiaries access to innovative drug treatments. Coverage is provided by private insurance plans that vary in their costs and lists of covered drugs—known as "formularies." Drug makers may give plans rebates in exchange for preferred placement over competitors on formularies. The rebates may lower premiums, but they don't reduce beneficiaries' payments...

COVID-19: U.S. Territory Experiences Could Inform Future Federal Relief

GAO-23-106050
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U.S. territories—American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—received more than $32 billion in COVID-19 relief funds through over 100 programs. Territory government officials said they funded key priorities, but some programs were easier to use than others because: Territory governments already knew how to administer and report on pre-existing programs Some agencies provided more support...

U.S. Postal Service: Better Incorporating Leading Practices for Project Management Could Benefit Strategic Plan Implementation [Reissued with revisions on Sept. 19, 2023]

GAO-23-105297
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The U.S. Postal Service has been on our High Risk List since 2009 due to ongoing financial woes. To help address its financial condition, and improve service, USPS developed a 10-year strategic plan that touches on all parts of its operations. USPS is implementing its ambitious plan through more than 100 ongoing projects. We reviewed USPS implementation policies to see how well they incorporated GAO...

Military Barracks: Poor Living Conditions Undermine Quality of Life and Readiness

GAO-23-105797
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Hundreds of thousands of service members live in military barracks. Concerns about poor living conditions and how DOD is managing the barracks go back decades. We observed barracks in poor condition, including some with safety risks like sewage overflow and inoperable fire systems. And some barracks don't meet DOD requirements for privacy or amenities. DOD doesn't have reliable information about barracks conditions, or how these...

Motor Carrier Operations: Improvements Needed to Federal System for Collecting and Addressing Complaints against Truck, Moving, and Bus Companies

GAO-23-105972
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration aims to reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths involving large trucks and buses. To that end, FMCSA collects complaints against companies that operate these vehicles. The complaints can be related to safety—e.g., speeding or reckless driving—or to problems like unfair business practices. FMCSA reviews these complaints, but its guidance is not clear. Specifically, FMCSA guidance doesn't define key terms or...

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Asistencia de Los Estados Unidos a México: El Departamento de Estado Debería Tomar Medidas Para Evaluar El Progreso General

GAO-23-106871
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To see the version of this page in English, see GAO-23-103795 . Desde 2008, los Estados Unidos ha brindado más de $3 mil millones en asistencia a México para abordar el crimen organizado transnacional y la violencia, aumentar el estado de derecho y reducir el narcotráfico. A pesar de la asistencia de los EE. UU., la situación de seguridad en México ha empeorado significativamente, con...

Science & Tech Spotlight: Drone Swarm Technologies

GAO-23-106930
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This Science & Tech Spotlight report explores drone swarm technologies, which use algorithms and local sensors to coordinate drones with minimal human intervention. Swarms could range from a few drones to possibly thousands. Advances in artificial intelligence and drone components have made swarms possible—even if they're limited to simpler missions like aerial light shows for now. As the technology improves, it could be used to...

Financial Stability Oversight Council: Assessing Effectiveness Could Enhance Response to Systemic Risks

GAO-23-105708
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In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act established the Financial Stability Oversight Council to help identify and respond to emerging threats to the U.S. financial system. Recent bank failures demonstrate the importance of responding to risks before they harm the system. The council issues an annual report with recommendations—which staff say could address most risks. But we've previously noted that the council's authority—in part, the nonbinding nature...

White House Spending: FY 2022 Certificated Expenditures of the President and Vice President Were for Authorized Purposes

GAO-23-106450
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The President and Vice President of the United States are legally allowed to spend funds for certain specified purposes—e.g., official travel, residential maintenance, entertainment—and account for them solely with "official certificates." Spending that's authorized this way is known as certificated expenditures. We examined these certificated expenditures for fiscal year 2022 and determined that they were spent for the purposes authorized under the relevant law.

CARES Act: Experts Identified Safeguards to Help Selected HHS Agencies Protect Against Potential Political Interference

GAO-23-106529
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Four Health and Human Services agencies had key roles in the federal COVID-19 response. Our prior reports noted shortcomings to that response, including possible political interference. Our panel of government, academic, and non-profit experts identified steps agencies can take to protect against such interference: Set agency policies to prohibit interference and allow transparency in addressing allegations Train agency staff on how to implement policies Use...

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Violent Extremism: Agencies' and Financial Institutions' Efforts to Link Financing to Domestic Threats

GAO-23-105928
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Linking the financial transactions of domestic violent extremists to suspicious or violent activity can be difficult for financial institutions and federal agencies. The transactions often don't raise red flags because these extremists frequently use their own funds and might not need large amounts to carry out attacks. In addition, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network shares financial information related to ongoing terrorism investigations with law enforcement...

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DOD Financial Management: Improving Systems Planning and Oversight Could Improve Auditability

GAO-23-106817
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DOD is the largest federal agency, and the only one that has never achieved a "clean" audit opinion—which is when financial statements are presented fairly and are consistent with accounting principles. The challenge that DOD faces in modernizing its business and financial IT systems is a big hurdle to making its financial statements auditable. This Snapshot report covers ways to improve DOD's Strategy for addressing...

Facial Recognition Services: Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Should Take Actions to Implement Training, and Policies for Civil Liberties

GAO-23-105607
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Seven law enforcement agencies in the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice reported using facial recognition services that quickly search through billions of photos of faces to help identify a suspect in a crime scene image. All 7 agencies initially used these services without requiring staff take facial recognition training. Two agencies require it as of April 2023. Also, some agencies don't have policies specific...

Homeland Security: Office of Intelligence and Analysis Should Improve Privacy Oversight and Assessment of Its Effectiveness

GAO-23-105475
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The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis collects and shares homeland security data with its partners in law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the private sector. While doing so, it's important to protect U.S. citizens and residents' rights and privacy. But the office hasn't done some required audits that would ensure that its personnel are following policies to protect these rights. For example, auditing the...

U.S. Assistance to Mexico: State Department Should Take Steps to Assess Overall Progress

GAO-23-103795
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Para la versión de esta página en español, ver a GAO-23-106871 . The United States has provided Mexico over $3 billion in assistance since 2008 to address transnational organized crime and violence, enhance the rule of law, and reduce drug trafficking. Despite U.S. assistance, Mexico's security situation has worsened significantly, with the country's murder rate more than tripling. The State Department and the U.S. Agency...

Intelligent Transportation Systems: Benefits Related to Traffic Congestion and Safety Can Be Limited by Various Factors

GAO-23-105740
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Traffic can be a major pain. But state and local agencies—large and small, all across the country—are using technology to try to ease congestion on freeways and arterial roads to get people where they are going faster and with fewer crashes. We looked at some "intelligent transportation systems" that can, for example, automatically time traffic lights to move more vehicles through limited lanes or improve...

VA Equal Employment Opportunity: Increased Attention Needed to Improve Program Effectiveness

GAO-23-105429
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Federal law prohibits discrimination against federal employees on the basis of race, among other things. We reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs' efforts to ensure equitable treatment of its employees. VA's workforce is diverse but there are disparities in pay and promotions for some racial, ethnic, and gender groups, and VA could better address discrimination. While VA tracks complaints of alleged racial discrimination, it hasn't...