United States Partners with African Countries to Counter Terrorist Threats

thumbnail international affairsFrom the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa, to recent al Qaeda and Boko Haram attacks in Northwest Africa, events have suggested that both regions are vulnerable to terrorism and violent extremism. The United States provides training and equipment to military and law enforcement agencies in partner countries, and works with local populations at risk of becoming involved in violent radicalization. We issued two reports this year on U.S. regional programs in East Africa and Northwest Africa. These programs are helping improve the ability of African countries to counter terrorist groups, but both need stronger program management from the State Department to meet their goals and protect taxpayer dollars.

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Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud

taxes thumbnailBack in January, for Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, we identified the two major types of tax-related identity fraud: refund fraud, and employment fraud. Earlier this week, we released a new report on identity theft tax refund fraud. In the report, we examined IRS’s estimates about the extent of the problem and the need for information on the costs and benefits of options for combating it.

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Podcast on F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Sustainment Planning Efforts

GAO Podcast IconThe F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is intended to replace a variety of existing aircraft in the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps within the next four years. Sustaining the F-35 program over its lifecycle carries an estimated cost of approximately $1 trillion.

Hear our podcast with Cary Russell, a director in GAO’s Defense Capabilities and Management team, who led a recent review on continued planning efforts for the F-35.

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Podcast on Oil and Gas Transportation and Infrastructure Issues

GAO Podcast IconTechnology advancements, such as hydraulic fracturing, have greatly increased U.S. production of oil and natural gas. This increase poses challenges for oil and gas transportation infrastructure, such as pipeline and rail.

Hear our podcast with Frank Rusco, a director in GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment team, who led a recent review of oil and gas transportation infrastructure issues.

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Maritime Piracy Threatens Some Parts of African Coast

thumbnail_homeland_securityArghh, matey! September 19 may be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, but modern pirates continue to threaten commercial shipping lanes and fishing boats, particularly along the coasts of Africa. In 2014, we assessed the problem of piracy and the U.S. role in counterpiracy efforts off the Horn of Africa and in the Gulf of Guinea.

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Rulemaking in the Federal Government

Government thumbnail imageFederal regulation is a basic tool of government. Agencies issue thousands of regulations, or rules, each year to achieve public policy goals, such as ensuring that:

  • workplaces, air travel, foods, and drugs are safe;
  • the nation’s air, water, and land are not polluted; and
  • taxes are collected.

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GAO Receives ‘Clean Opinion’ from International Peer Review

thumbnail_gao_sealGAO has received a “clean opinion”—the best review possible—from an independent international peer review team that closely examined the agency’s quality assurance system. This year’s review cited GAO’s institutional structures and organizational culture for clearly prioritizing quality and independence, values that GAO conveys to its staff as soon as they join the agency.

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Medicare Recommendations for Healthcare Fraud Prevention and Awareness Month

Thumbnail Health CareSeptember may be Healthcare Fraud Prevention and Awareness Month, but GAO tracks this issue year round. Because the Medicare program is particularly susceptible to fraud, waste, and abuse, it has been on our High Risk list since we started compiling the list in 1990. As a result, we have made numerous recommendations to help protect and improve the program.

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Updated Green Book Standards Help Improve Government Accountability and Performance

GAO Green Book iconIn an effort to help all federal agencies improve their performance, GAO has issued the 2014 revision of Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, also known as the “Green Book.” The book sets the standards for an effective internal control system for federal agencies, a crucial safeguard over public resources. Internal control is an organizational process that can aid agencies in working more efficiently and effectively, reporting accurately on their operations, and complying with applicable laws and regulations.

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Podcast on Federal Oversight of Contractor Information Security Controls

GAO Podcast IconFederal agencies often rely on contractors to operate computer systems and process information on their behalf. Federal law and policy require that agencies ensure that contractors adequately protect these systems and information.

Hear our podcast with Greg Wilshusen, a director in GAO’s Information Technology team, who led a recent review of how well agencies oversee contractor-operated systems.

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