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 2017, USDA announced a major initiative to provide better customer service to U.S. farmers, ranchers, and foresters by modernizing its IT operations. A key IT project was the 2018 launch of Farmers.gov to provide online self-service applications, like a farm loan eligibility tool.
Global food security is an urgent problem, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Feed the Future, a U.S. government global food security initiative led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, aims to reduce global hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, 96% of the U.S. population has access to broadband—an always "on" internet connection—at or above the FCC's benchmark for minimum speed. (Access rates are lower in rural areas and we previously found overall access may be overstated.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
Federal agencies (such as Customs and Border Protection and the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service) oversee inspections at U.S. ports of entry to protect U.S. agriculture from pests and diseases.
Draining wetlands can harm water quality and wildlife habitat. Millions of acres of wetlands known as "potholes" remain in the Midwest, often on farms. The U.S. Department of Agriculture can withhold benefits from farmers who violate wetlands conservation rules.
An EPA regulation allows farmworkers to designate a representative to find out which pesticides are used where they work. This information can help farmworkers with pesticide exposure illnesses get faster diagnoses and better treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 6 people in the U.S. get food poisoning each year—leading to 128,000 hospital stays and 3,000 deaths. CDC has seen an increase in foodborne illness outbreaks that span multiple states in recent years.