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.
States spend billions of dollars on incentives to attract and retain businesses. Some question their cost and effectiveness. Do federal funds play a part in these incentives?
In 6 large state business incentive packages we reviewed, federal economic development funds were not directly used.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
Because disaster recovery block grants aren't part of a permanent program, grant requirements have to be customized for each disaster. This is time-consuming for the agency and for grantees—leading to delays in receipt and use of the funds.
The statutory federal minimum wage has not applied in American Samoa for many years. In 2007, Congress approved increasing the territory's minimum wages, but later delayed or reduced the increases. Minimum wages are now scheduled to rise to the current federal level by 2036.
Since 1980, weather disasters in the U.S. have caused more than $1.6 trillion in damage. Weather disasters, and federal spending on them, are expected to increase due to climate change, as our High Risk List indicates.
The catastrophic destruction caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria overwhelmed the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rican governments and resulted in a large federal disaster response.
The Department of Health and Human Services led federal public health and medical services efforts.
More than 80% of the land held in trust for Indian tribes and their members is used for farming, ranching, or other agricultural purposes.
But the extent to which Indian tribes and their members receive agricultural credit, such as loans to buy farm equipment, is unclear.
Use of the $35 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds for the 2017 hurricanes has been slow.
Over a year after the first funds were appropriated, much of the money remains unspent because grantees in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S.
In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused extensive damage throughout Puerto Rico, destroying roads and buildings and cutting power and communication lines. Puerto Rico estimates that $132 billion will be needed to repair and reconstruct its infrastructure and services.
In September 2017, two major hurricanes hit the U.S. Virgin Islands, causing billions of dollars in damage.
We reviewed the federal response and recovery efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency:
Provided $1.4 billion in grant funding to help repair damaged public infrastructure.