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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Climate Change: Enhancing Federal Resilience

GAO-22-106061
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Between FY 2015-2021, the federal government spent billions of dollars on disaster assistance. Disaster costs are projected to increase as certain extreme weather events like drought or floods become more frequent and intense due to climate change. Enhancing the government's climate resilience—planning and preparation for potential climate hazards—can help it reduce potential future losses. We drew from several of our reports to highlight opportunities for...

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Chief Information Officers: Private Sector Practices Can Inform Government Roles

GAO-22-104603
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Most of the 71 private sector chief information officers we surveyed reported having responsibilities that align with those of agency CIOs in nearly all key IT management areas. But, the Federal CIO position isn't established in law, resulting in its responsibilities being more limited than those of other types of CIOs. And former agency CIOs reported challenges in achieving meaningful collaboration with other executives. Congress...

Tracking the Funds: Specific Fiscal Year 2022 Provisions for Federal Agencies [Reissued with revisions on Sep. 16, 2022]

GAO-22-105467
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As part of FY22 appropriations, Members of Congress could request to designate a certain amount of 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 the designated recipients. We're tracking these funds to help ensure transparency. FY22 appropriations included $9.1 billion for 4,963 projects. This report covers: Which...

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2017 Hurricanes: Update on FEMA's Disaster Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

GAO-22-106211
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Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused billions of dollars in damages in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017, and the recovery continues. As of August 2022, FEMA has awarded about $32.2 billion and $304.8 million for two grant programs that fund recovery projects. We testified about our ongoing work to oversee FEMA's management of these funds. As of August 2022, the governments in...

Nuclear Energy Projects: DOE Should Institutionalize Oversight Plans for Demonstrations of New Reactor Types [Reissued with revisions on Sept. 15, 2022]

GAO-22-105394
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Nuclear power plants account for about 20% of the electricity and half of the carbon-free electricity generated in the U.S. However, plants are aging and economic challenges have led to closures and planned shutdowns. In FY 2021, the Department of Energy made 3 awards totaling $4.6 billion to support development of new reactor types that are expected to bring improvements. To monitor projects, DOE uses...

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Maritime Administration: Actions Needed to Enhance Cargo Preference Oversight

GAO-22-106198
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The U.S. government sends many kinds of cargo overseas, from military supplies to food for nations in need. By law, a certain percentage of that cargo must be sent on ships registered in the U.S. We testified that the Maritime Administration (MARAD) monitors the percentage of cargo that agencies send on oceangoing ships. MARAD receives data from shippers, including cargo volumes carried by U.S. and...

Maritime Cargo Security: CBP's Efforts to Address the Impacts of COVID-19

GAO-22-105803
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COVID-19 pandemic restrictions led to changes in some work practices and operational procedures for Customs and Border Protection programs that oversee the security of U.S.-bound cargo. Most CBP officials began teleworking, which required coordinating with host country officials at overseas ports via email and telephone to request examinations of U.S.-bound cargo shipments. Travel restrictions also prevented CBP specialists from validating supply chain security procedures in-person—causing...

Military Naturalizations: Federal Agencies Assist with Naturalizations, but Additional Monitoring and Assessment Are Needed

GAO-22-105021
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Noncitizens have a long history of serving in the U.S. military. Over 100,000 noncitizens joined from FYs 2010-2021. U.S. law authorizes the expedited naturalization of current and former servicemembers. Servicemember naturalization applications fell 78% from 2017 to 2018—from about 11,000 to 2,500. DOD and other officials attributed this temporary decline in part to DOD policy changes, such as longer service requirements. The military services don't...

Veteran Suicide: VA Efforts to Identify Veterans at Risk through Analysis of Health Record Information

GAO-22-105165
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Veterans Affairs began using the REACH VET program in 2017 to help identify veterans receiving VA care who may be at increased risk of suicide. The program uses a predictive model that analyzes veterans' health records to identify those who may benefit from enhanced clinical care—like specialty care or additional mental health services. We found that REACH VET identified veterans not flagged by other screening...

COVID-19 in Nursing Homes: CMS Needs to Continue to Strengthen Oversight of Infection Prevention and Control

GAO-22-105133
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The COVID-19 pandemic caused severe illness and death in many nursing homes across the U.S. We also found that some indicators of resident mental and physical health worsened during the pandemic. The pandemic also highlighted long-standing problems with infection prevention and control in nursing homes. Before the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began requiring nursing homes to designate an infection preventionist on...

Conflict Minerals: Overall Peace and Security in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo Has Not Improved Since 2014

GAO-22-105411
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Pour la version française de cette page, voir GAO-23-106085. Various sources report that mining and trade of "conflict minerals," such as tin and gold, are helping fund conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According to our interviews with 10 DRC experts and our review of UN and other documents and data: Armed groups, which may profit from conflict minerals, have contributed to...

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Flood Mitigation: Actions Needed to Improve Use of FEMA Property Acquisitions

GAO-22-104694
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Removing people and homes from flood-prone areas can save lives and help communities save money on disaster response. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides funding for communities to buy flood-prone properties from willing owners and convert them to open space. But the acquisition process is lengthy and complex—discouraging some communities and property owners from participating. To address challenges, FEMA is taking some steps to ease...

Flood Mitigation: Actions Needed to Improve Use of FEMA Property Acquisitions

GAO-22-106037
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Removing people and homes from flood-prone areas can save lives and help communities save money on disaster response. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides funding for communities to buy flood-prone properties from willing owners and convert them to open space. But the acquisition process is lengthy and complex—discouraging some communities and property owners from participating. To address challenges, FEMA is taking some steps to ease...

National Security Snapshot: Climate Change Risks to National Security

GAO-22-105830
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Climate change poses threats to national security, as effects like rising sea levels and catastrophic storms threaten both military and civilian infrastructure and can even affect migration patterns. This report outlines our work and recommendations in this area since 2014. For example, in 2019, we found DOD relied on past experience rather than climate projections when designing projects. And in 2020, we found that DOD's...

Consumer Data: Increasing Use Poses Risks to Privacy

GAO-22-106096
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As internet usage has exploded over the years, consumers' personal data, online behavior, and locations are increasingly being tracked. But how safe is that personal information? Businesses collect, use, and sell consumer data. But consumers may be unaware of how it's being collected and used and generally aren't able to stop its collection or verify its accuracy. The U.S. doesn't have a comprehensive privacy law...

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Maritime Administration: Actions Needed to Enhance Cargo Preference Oversight

GAO-22-105160
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The U.S. government sends many kinds of cargo overseas, from military supplies to food for nations in need. By law, a certain percentage of that cargo must be sent on ships registered in the U.S. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) monitors the percentage of cargo that agencies send on oceangoing ships. MARAD receives data from shippers, including cargo volumes carried by U.S. and foreign ships. But...

Tracking the Funds: Specific Fiscal Year 2022 Provisions for General Services Administration

GAO-22-105896
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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 General Services Administration's FY22 appropriations included $53.5 million for 4 of...

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

GAO-22-105904
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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 the Interior's FY22 appropriations included $117.2 million for 75...

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

GAO-22-105918
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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 specific recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency. The Department of Energy's FY22 appropriations included $103.1 million for 65 of...

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

GAO-22-105892
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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 specific recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency. The Department of Transportation's FY22 appropriations included $1.5 billion for 478 of...