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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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Additional Steps Needed to Help States Collect Complete Enrollment Information

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The Departments of Labor and Education oversee 6 core workforce development programs that help job seekers find work and employers find qualified employees. The departments require the programs to submit data on their participants, and have taken steps to help them do so. But the departments still don't have complete data on participants who are enrolled in multiple programs. For example, program data submitted to...

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VA Health Care: Additional Action Needed to Assess the Medical Scribe Pilot

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Medical scribes help doctors by entering patient information—like symptoms and treatment plans—into electronic health records during visits. This allows doctors to focus more on treating patients and less on taking notes. Veterans Affairs piloted the use of scribes in 11 of its medical centers from 2020-2022. Scribes assisted providers in the cardiology, orthopedic, and emergency departments—updating electronic health records in real-time during patient visits. VA...

Disaster Recovery: Actions Needed to Improve the Federal Approach

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The federal government has provided billions of dollars to communities recovering from disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. But federal disaster recovery programs are spread across more than 30 agencies, making it difficult for communities to figure out who to turn to for help. We recommended that federal agencies identify and take steps to better manage this fragmentation across these programs. We also identified...

Cybersecurity: Secret Service Has Made Progress Toward Zero Trust Architecture, but Work Remains

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With the ever-increasing threat of cyberattacks, the Secret Service is adopting a "zero trust" approach to cybersecurity. This "zero trust architecture" requires constant verification of everything that's trying to connect to an organization's IT systems. The Secret Service developed a plan to implement this with 4 milestones, such as assessing agency IT systems against federal guidance and implementing cloud services. But the agency created this...

China: Efforts Underway to Address Technology Transfer Risk at U.S. Universities, but ICE Could Improve Related Data

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A third of foreign graduate students studying STEM at U.S. universities are Chinese nationals—some with access to sensitive research. U.S. agencies have identified several factors indicating the types of students—such as being from a country of concern like China—who may pose a greater risk of transferring technology to foreign entities. Immigration and Customs Enforcement keeps a database related to these factors but hasn't assessed if...

Financial Audit: Federal Housing Finance Agency's FY 2022 and FY 2021 Financial Statements

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency's goal is to keep the housing finance system healthy by supervising and regulating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The agency spent $338.4 million in FY 2022 to do its work. We audit and issue opinions annually on the agency's financial statements and on related internal controls (e.g., processes to reasonably assure that transactions are...

Performance and Accountability Report, Fiscal Year 2022

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GAO's work yielded $55.6 billion in financial benefits for the federal government in FY 2022—a return of $74 for every dollar invested in us. We did it by recommending ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal programs and more. We also identified 1,262 other benefits—things that improve programs and operations but can't be measured in dollars. For example, our work: Prompted the Army...

Southwest Border: Border Patrol's Missing Migrant Program

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Migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally along the southwest border risk injury or death by crossing in remote areas. Border Patrol's Missing Migrant Program is intended to identify and help missing or injured migrants. In our April 2022 report, we recommended improving the data that the program reports to Congress on migrant deaths. Border Patrol has taken some steps since then. For example, officials...

Financial Audit: Securities and Exchange Commission's FY 2022 and FY 2021 Financial Statements

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The Securities and Exchange Commission enforces securities laws that protect investors. The SEC collected $3.2 billion in penalties for securities law violations in FY22. Some of that goes to the Investor Protection Fund, which rewards whistleblowers and supports investor education. We audit and issue opinions annually on SEC and Fund financial statements and on related internal controls (e.g., processes to reasonably assure that transactions are...

Financial Audit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's FY 2022 and FY 2021 Financial Statements

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) works to enhance citizens' financial education and ensure that banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat people fairly. The agency spent $1.03 billion in FY 2022 to do its work. We audit and issue an opinion annually on CFPB's financial statements and on related internal controls (e.g., processes to reasonably assure that transactions are properly authorized and recorded). In...

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Pipeline Safety: Fully Implementing Key Practices Could Help Improve Transparency of Enforcement Website

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The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration inspects interstate natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, investigates accidents, and enforces laws and regulations. The agency puts information about its enforcement activities on its public Enforcement Transparency website. We found that the website generally aligned with key practices for transparently reporting government data, but the agency could make some improvements. For example, a better search tool could...

DOD Cybersecurity: Enhanced Attention Needed to Ensure Cyber Incidents Are Appropriately Reported and Shared

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Cyber attacks threaten national security—but hackers continue to target DOD as well as private companies and others involved in the nation's military operations. DOD has taken steps to combat these attacks and has reduced the number of cyber incidents in recent years. But we found that DOD: Hasn't fully implemented its processes for managing cyber incidents Doesn't have complete data on cyber incidents that staff...

VA Nursing Home Care: Opportunities Exist to Enhance Oversight of State Veterans Homes

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The Department of Veterans Affairs pays for about 14,500 veterans to live in 153 state-run nursing homes as of FY2021. VA oversees these homes by inspecting them to ensure that they meet the agency's quality standards. But VA could improve its oversight. VA inspections in 2019 and 2021 showed an increase in the number and the severity of deficiencies cited. VA's only enforcement action is...

Remote Sales Tax: Federal Legislation Could Resolve Some Uncertainties and Improve Overall System

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Until recently, states could not require e-commerce businesses operating out of state to collect taxes on sales to residents of their state unless the business had a physical presence in that state. This changed in 2018, and states quickly enacted remote sales tax requirements. However, this resulted in a complex patchwork of requirements—such as different exemptions for some small businesses in different states. Consequently, businesses...

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Nonstandard and Contracted Work Arrangements: Data from the 2020 Annual Business Survey and Analysis of 2021 10-K Filings

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Millions of U.S. workers are employed in the "gig economy" as temporary, part-time, or contracted workers. Policy makers want to learn more about these work arrangements and their effects on topics like workplace safety, wages, and access to benefits. We looked at two sources to learn more about the size and scope of this workforce: In a 2020 Census survey of businesses, 33% of companies...

Veterans Community Care Program: VA Needs to Strengthen Its Oversight and Improve Data on Its Community Care Network Providers

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The VA uses two contractors to manage its regional networks of community providers, known as Community Care Networks, to deliver care to veterans. These contractors are responsible for maintaining adequate provider networks that meet two standards—maximum distances veterans may drive to community providers, and maximum wait times for appointments. The VA monitors these contractors to ensure that they are complying with these standards. However, we...

Weapon System Sustainment: Aircraft Mission Capable Goals Were Generally Not Met and Sustainment Costs Varied by Aircraft

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The Department of Defense spends tens of billions of dollars annually to sustain its aircraft fleets. But how many of those aircraft are ready for takeoff and able to complete missions? We looked at 49 types of military aircraft and found that only 4 types met their annual mission readiness goals from FY 2011 through FY 2021—an overall decline over time. Program officials gave us...

Financial Audit: Office of Financial Stability's (Troubled Asset Relief Program) FY 2022 and FY 2021 Financial Statements

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Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program was originally authorized to spend $700 billion to help prevent the U.S. financial system's collapse in 2008. As of September 30, 2022, TARP spent $443.7 billion. But after repayments, dividends, and more, the estimated lifetime cost of TARP programs will be $31.8 billion. We audit and issue an opinion annually on TARP's financial statements and on related internal controls (e.g...

Financial Audit: IRS's FY 2022 and FY 2021 Financial Statements

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The Internal Revenue Service collects taxes to fund federal programs and services. In FY22, IRS collected over $4.9 trillion in taxes and paid out more than $600 billion in tax refunds, credits, and other payments. We audit and issue opinions annually on IRS's financial statements and on related internal controls (e.g., processes to reasonably assure that transactions are properly authorized and recorded). In FY22, we...

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Financial Audit: Bureau of the Fiscal Service's FY 2022 and FY 2021 Schedules of Federal Debt

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Treasury's Fiscal Service issues debt to borrow money for federal operations, and reports the debt on financial statements called the Schedules of Federal Debt. As of Sept. 30, 2022, the federal debt was $30.9 trillion—up $2.5 trillion from FY 2021, and interest on the debt was $724 billion, an increase of $149 billion from FY 2021. We audit and issue opinions annually on the Schedules...