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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Defense Logistics: DOD Can Better Manage Demilitarization Coding and Disposition Decisions

GAO-22-105251
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Every year DOD disposes of "major end items" such as Humvees. Some may be sold or given to other agencies after being demilitarized. Items are assigned a demilitarization code that determines the required action—the degree of disassembly, for example. Code application was mostly consistent in the 437 categories we examined. However, in 13 cases the same items were assigned different codes and there was no...

Export-Import Bank: Additional Documentation about Stakeholder Roles and Clarity about Fraud Risks Would Strengthen Antifraud Efforts

GAO-22-105340
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The Export-Import Bank of the United States supports American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. It offers loans, loan guarantees, and other help to U.S. companies that cannot obtain private financing for their deals. It may assume risks that the private sector won't, including risk of losses due to fraud. The bank has adopted antifraud practices as required by law. We reviewed its 2020-2021 transactions to...

Aviation Security Programs: TSA Should Clarify Compliance Program Guidance and Address User Concerns with Its Data Systems

GAO-22-105063
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TSA conducted about 28,000 inspections of U.S. airports and passenger airline operations in 2021. When a violation is found during an inspection, airports and air carriers can avoid civil penalties by investing their own resources as part of an action plan to find the root cause of a violation. But, TSA guidance is unclear about when these plans are appropriate. In addition, TSA inspectors at...

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Medicare Telehealth: Actions Needed to Strengthen Oversight and Help Providers Educate Patients on Privacy and Security Risks

GAO-22-104454
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To help patients access care during the pandemic, Medicare temporarily waived restrictions on telehealth—health care services delivered via phone or video. The use of telehealth services rose tenfold: 53 million telehealth visits in Apr.-Dec. 2020 vs. 5 million during the same period in 2019. But Medicare hasn't comprehensively assessed the quality of care patients received, and lacks data on telehealth services delivered in patients' homes...

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Public Health Emergencies: Data Management Challenges Impact National Response

GAO-22-106175
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Public health emergencies evolve quickly, but public health entities lack the ability to share new data and potentially life-saving information in real-time—undermining the nation's ability to respond quickly. To address this, the federal government must overcome three major challenges—specifically, the lack of: Common standards for collecting data (e.g., patient characteristics) "Interoperability" (meaning not all data systems work together) Public health IT infrastructure (the hardware, software...

Federal Protective Service: Many Approved Security Recommendations Were Not Implemented and Preliminary Work Suggests Law Enforcement Deployments Have Increased

GAO-22-106177
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The Federal Protective Service helps ensure the security of millions of people at over 9,000 federal facilities. FPS assesses existing security measures and recommends improvements, and provides law enforcement services. We testified that: Agencies are generally satisfied with the assessments but don't implement many of the resulting recommendations FPS has increased its deployment of law enforcement personnel to facilities since FY 2020 to support homeland...

Servicemember Absences: DOD Actions Needed to Enhance Related Data, Procedures, and Staffing

GAO-22-105329
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When servicemembers are unexpectedly absent from duty, their wellbeing may be at risk. Their families can suffer, and mission readiness may be reduced. DOD collects and reports data on the number of involuntary absences (e.g., involving accidents or foul play). But the full extent of voluntary absences (e.g., desertions) is unknown because some of the data DOD collects is incomplete or unreliable. Also, some military...

Nuclear Weapons Cybersecurity: NNSA Should Fully Implement Foundational Cybersecurity Risk Management Practices

GAO-22-104195
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The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is increasingly relying on advanced computers and integrating digital systems into weapons and manufacturing equipment. But, these systems could be hacked. Federal laws and policies suggest 6 key practices to set up a cybersecurity management program, such as assigning risk management responsibilities. However, NNSA and its contractors haven't fully implemented these practices. Additionally, NNSA and its contractors rely on...

Broadband: Needs of Rural Small Businesses and Federal Programs to Support Them

GAO-22-106116
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According to the Federal Communications Commission, 96% of the U.S. population has access to broadband at or above the FCC's benchmark for minimum speed. But overall access may be overstated and access rates are lower in rural areas. In 2021, we reviewed whether broadband is fast enough for small business owners, federal efforts to improve rural broadband access, and more. We briefed Congress with updates...

Privacy: Dedicated Leadership Can Improve Programs and Address Challenges

GAO-22-105065
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Federal agencies that collect personally identifiable information—such as birthplaces and Social Security numbers—are required to establish programs to protect it. The 24 agencies we examined had designated a senior agency official for privacy, as required. However, these officials may have numerous other duties and may not bring a needed focus on privacy. They generally delegated many aspects of privacy programs to less-senior officials. We recommended...

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Unemployment Insurance: Opportunities to Address Long-Standing Challenges and Risks

GAO-22-106159
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We testified that during the COVID-19 pandemic, historic job losses and demand for benefits worsened existing problems in the unemployment insurance system. Millions of workers faced delays in receiving benefits, which sometimes caused financial and other hardships. We see an urgent need to address persistent unemployment insurance system issues that were exacerbated in the pandemic. Our previous recommendations include that Labor provide states with comprehensive...

Information Environment: Opportunities and Threats to DOD's National Security Mission

GAO-22-104714
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To offset U.S. conventional warfighting advantages, opponents try to use the information environment, including information technology and social media. Actions can range from trying to plant malware in weapons to spreading disinformation on social media. This report describes DOD's use and protection of the information environment. We profile 6 areas—such as threats and emerging technologies—and offer questions for further oversight. For example, DOD components identified...

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Deaths in Custody: Additional Action Needed to Help Ensure Data Collected by DOJ Are Utilized

GAO-22-106033
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Individuals in prisons are at higher risk of dying by suicide and homicide. The Death in Custody Reporting Act requires states receiving certain federal grants to report data on these and other in-custody deaths to the Department of Justice. We testified that 70% of records that states submitted to DOJ were missing at least one required element—e.g., a description of the individual's death. As of...

Tracking the Funds: Specific Fiscal Year 2022 Provisions for Department of Homeland Security

GAO-22-105899
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As part of FY22 appropriations, Members of Congress could request to designate a certain amount of federal funding for specific projects in their communities. While agencies often have discretion over how they award funds, Congress has directed them to distribute these funds to designated recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency. The Department of Homeland Security's FY22 appropriations included $203.1 million for 122...

VA Acquisition Management: Actions Needed to Improve Program Oversight and Acquisition Outcomes

GAO-22-106220
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In 2017, Veterans Affairs created a process to better manage major acquisition programs that provide veterans with critical goods and services, like medical supplies. Yet none of VA's major programs follow it. Instead, they choose program-specific approaches that haven't led to positive outcomes, such as meeting planned schedules. VA plans to replace the current process, but has yet to fix past problems with implementing it—like...

Tracking the Funds: Specific Fiscal Year 2022 Provisions for National Aeronautics and Space Administration

GAO-22-105921
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As part of FY22 appropriations, Members of Congress could request to designate a certain amount of federal funding for specific projects in their communities. While agencies often have discretion over how they award funds, Congress has directed them to distribute these funds to designated recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency. NASA's FY22 appropriations included $22.7 million for 21 of these projects. This...

Tracking the Funds: Specific Fiscal Year 2022 Provisions for Department of Education

GAO-22-105909
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As part of FY22 appropriations, Members of Congress could request to designate a certain amount of federal funding for specific projects in their communities. While agencies often have discretion over how they award funds, Congress has directed them to distribute these funds to designated recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency. The Department of Education's FY22 appropriations included $392.2 million for 473 of...

Other Transaction Agreements: DOD Can Improve Planning for Consortia Awards

GAO-22-105357
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DOD sometimes awards funds via an "other transaction agreement." OTAs allow for more flexibility than traditional contracts do, enabling DOD to partner with contractors it hasn't worked with before. DOD can award OTAs to an individual organization (like a contractor) or to a consortium, which is a group of organizations focused on a specific technology area (like cybersecurity). DOD has been awarding OTAs through consortia...

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Additional Actions Needed to Manage Fraud Risks

GAO-22-105328
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services investigates potential immigration fraud. For example, USCIS investigates concerns that some marriages are formed to evade U.S. immigration law and illegally obtain immigration benefits, such as permanent residence. USCIS uses a staffing model to estimate how many immigration officers it needs for its antifraud workload. But, the model doesn't adequately reflect operating conditions and some data may be inaccurate due...

COVID-19: CBP Acted to Mitigate Challenges Affecting Its Trade Operations

GAO-22-105034
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection processes millions of imported shipments. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, imports briefly declined but then rose sharply, partly due to more online shopping and orders for supplies like masks. CBP took steps to maintain operations and minimize staff exposure to COVID-19 during the pandemic. For example, CBP implemented social distancing and required staff to use personal protective equipment. Also, certain...