Budget and Spending

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Open Recommendations

Credit Reform: Transparency Needed for Evaluation of Potential Federal Involvement in Projects Seeking Loans

GAO-22-105280
Jul 28, 2022
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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget The Director of OMB should publish government-wide criteria outlining factors that agencies should consider when evaluating federal involvement in a potential project to help determine whether the project is eligible for the special budgetary treatment under FCRA. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Spending Transparency: Opportunities Exist for Treasury to Further Improve USAspending.gov's Use and Usefulness

GAO-22-104127
Dec 16, 2021
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4 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should develop and implement website promotion efforts that are clearly targeted toward the USAspending.gov user personas that it has previously identified. (Recommendation 1)
Open
Treasury agreed with this recommendation. We have requested details on how Treasury plans to implement this and we will continue to monitor USAspending.gov to identify changes to the website.
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should develop and implement training that targets the specific needs of USAspending.gov user personas, and make training (including existing resources such as its Analyst's Guide to Federal Spending Data) prominent on the USAspending.gov website. (Recommendation 2)
Open
Treasury agreed with this recommendation. We have requested details on how Treasury plans to implement this and we will continue to monitor USAspending.gov to identify changes to the website.
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should add a broad website search function to USAspending.gov to help users find content on the website. (Recommendation 3)
Open
Treasury agreed with this recommendation. We have requested details on how Treasury plans to implement this and we will continue to monitor USAspending.gov to identify changes to the website.
Department of the Treasury
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of the Treasury should develop and implement approaches to make known data limitation disclosures more prominent and easily accessible to USAspending.gov users. (Recommendation 4)
Open
Treasury agreed with this recommendation. We have requested details on how Treasury plans to implement this recommendation and we will continue to monitor USAspending.gov to identify changes to the website.

Federal Spending Transparency: Opportunities Exist to Further Improve the Information Available on USAspending.gov

GAO-22-104702
Nov 08, 2021
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9 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should take steps to help ensure that users are able to distinguish whether an award description describes the purpose of the base award or the purpose of a transaction or modification to the award on USAspending.gov. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should design and implement a process to periodically inform agencies about unlinked data to help agencies reconcile and resolve data linkage differences between transaction and submission data on USAspending.gov. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should ensure that identifiers and database keys (e.g., unique award key) used for financial assistance awards result in display outputs on USAspending.gov that are accurate and complete. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should ensure that the department's documented DATA Act and USAspending.gov guidance related to the maximum number of characters for procurement and financial assistance award descriptions is consistent with established policy. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Office of Management and Budget The Director of OMB, in collaboration with the Secretary of the Treasury, should ensure that their policies, guidance, and procedures related to DATA Act and USAspending.gov (e.g., maximum number of characters for award descriptions) are consistent with each other. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Director of OMB, should disclose on USAspending.gov that it does not validate the data it collects from external government-wide reporting systems (e.g., FPDS) and displays on USAspending.gov and, therefore, the imported data may not always align with the data standards, definitions, and requirements established in the OMB and Treasury guidance. (Recommendation 6)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Areas with High Poverty: Changing How the 10-20-30 Funding Formula Is Applied Could Increase Impact in Persistent-Poverty Counties

GAO-21-470
May 27, 2021
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Congress If Congress elects to include the 10-20-30 formula in future appropriations acts, Congress should consider focusing its application on those programs or accounts where it would meaningfully increase the proportion of funding awarded to persistent-poverty counties. (Matter for Consideration 1)
Open
In May 2022, the House of Representatives passed H.R.6531, which would require the Office of Management and Budget to, in consultation with other agencies, implement guidance to increase the share of federal investments targeted to persistent-poverty areas and other areas of high poverty. It would also require the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance to agencies on the scope and types of programs subject to the requirements, the share of federal investments to be targeted to these areas, the manner in which federal investments are to be targeted to these areas, and measures to track the federal investments targeted to these areas. We will continue to monitor the status of this bill.
Congress If Congress elects to include the 10-20-30 formula in future appropriations acts, Congress should consider requiring the relevant agencies to use a uniform list of persistent-poverty counties. Such a list could be created and updated annually by an agency well-suited to compile it, such as the Economic Research Service. (Matter for Consideration 2)
Open
In May 2022, the House of Representatives passed H.R.653, which requires the Bureau of the Census to publish a list of all areas of persistent poverty and annually update the list. We will continue to monitor the status of this bill.
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