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Open Recommendations

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
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
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
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

The Nation's Fiscal Health: Effective Use of Fiscal Rules and Targets

GAO-20-561
Sep 23, 2020
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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Congress Congress should consider establishing a long-term fiscal plan that includes fiscal rules and targets, such as a debt-to-GDP target. In doing so, Congress should weigh the key considerations discussed in this report to help ensure proper design, implementation, and enforcement of those rules and targets. (Matter for Consideration 1)
Open
In March 2021, the House introduced a joint resolution (H.J. Res. 32) proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Similar to a budget balance fiscal rule, the balanced budget amendment would require the President to submit a balanced budget annually that Congress would enforce. In April 2021, the Senate introduced a bill (S. 1174) to establish the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to identify policies and develop recommendations to balance the federal budget and the long-term fiscal outlook of the Federal Government. As of July 2021, no additional action has been taken.

Civilian Personnel: Additional Guidance and Consistent Data Reporting Could Help Improve the Marine Corps' Budget Management

GAO-20-148
Oct 16, 2019
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Navy The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Commandant of the Marine Corps updates the Marine Corps' civilian personnel budget formulation and execution policies to include guidance for the major subordinate commands to manage civilian personnel to FTEs. (Recommendation 1)
Open
The Department of the Navy concurred with our recommendation that the Marine Corps civilian personnel budget formulation and execution policies include guidance for the major subordinate commands to manage personnel to full time equivalents (FTE). The Marine Corps is developing and plans to implement an improved Strategic Workforce Planning platform that will facilitate better civilian personnel budgeting, planning, programming, formulation and execution. According to Marine Corps officials, the platform will provide the service with an improved methodology to analyze and validate civilian FTE requirements. This effort is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Department of the Navy The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the Commandant of the Marine Corps identifies and reconciles any differences between the Marine Corps' internal civilian personnel data and the civilian personnel data the Department of the Navy uses to support its annual budget request. (Recommendation 2)
Open
The Department of Navy concurred with our recommendation that the Marine Corps identify and reconcile differences between internal civilian personnel data and data used to support annual budget requests. According to the Headquarters Marine Corps officials, trend analysis is being conducted on fiscal year 2020 and 2021 civilian personnel data and budgeting processes to identify and provide additional training and guidance to commands. This effort is planned to be completed by the end of 2021.

Data Act: OMB Needs to Formalize Data Governance for Reporting Federal Spending

GAO-19-284
Mar 22, 2019
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2 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of OMB should clarify and document OMB's procedure for changing official data definition standards for DATA Act reporting, for example, by explicitly describing how change procedures developed for other government-wide initiatives apply to DATA Act definition standards in a public source of guidance or information. (Recommendation 1)
Open
In July 2020, OMB provided GAO with clarification regarding the specific roles and responsibilities of the entities responsible for the data standards used in DATA Act reporting. Specifically, OMB staff clarified that the Chief Financial Officers Council's DATA Act Working Group had operational management for data standards while the Business Standards Council provided overall interagency governance. This helped to address the lack of clarity that we found regarding how data definitions are managed and changes are made. However, to fully implement this recommendation OMB needs to take the next step of clearly documenting this structure, as well as relevant supporting procedures, and make them available to the public.
Office of Management and Budget The Director of OMB should ensure that the June 2018 policy changes regarding DATA Act data definition standards are clearly identified and explained in the official repository or another authoritative public source of DATA Act standards and guidance, such as by including a revision history along with the current version of the definitions. (Recommendation 2)
Open
In January 2020, OMB staff cited its Federal Spending Transparency Data Standards website and specifically notations on that site regarding the dates of revisions made to those standards as being responsive to this recommendation. However, the specific notations cited by OMB only show changes made back in 2015 and do not reflect nor explain some of the more recent revisions that led to GAO making this recommendation. OMB has not provided documentation of any additional actions taken to address this recommendation.
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