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.
Increased globalization and recent economic and financial crises have heightened concerns that U.S. businesses may be at a disadvantage in foreign markets. The departments of State and Commerce play key roles in the U.S. government's efforts to support U.S. businesses abroad.
Civilians make up about 98% of the Army Corps of Engineers' 35,000 personnel. The jobs are highly specialized and it can be difficult for the Corps to recruit, develop, and retain employees.
The Corps has taken significant steps to address its workforce challenges.
The government's security clearance process can help protect classified information. But due to concerns with timeliness, IT security, and more, we added this vetting process to our High Risk List in 2018.
The government has made progress on vetting reforms.
As of March 2020, nonfederal pay (e.g., for state and local government and private sector workers) was on average 23% higher than federal pay for similar jobs, despite pay equity efforts. One such effort was to increase federal pay in specific areas of the U.S.
The federal government faces a severe shortage of digital expertise in fields such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. A recent report urged establishing a new service academy—similar to the military academies—to train future digital civil servants.
After the Bureau of Land Management announced in July 2019 that it was relocating its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction, Colorado, many headquarters staff left the agency—increasing vacancies by about 169%.
The Department of Energy primarily relies on contractors to carry out its diverse missions, which range from energy development and scientific research to nuclear security. DOE's contract and project management is a topic on our High Risk List.