GAO is well known for its financial and performance audits of the federal government. In our pursuit of objective, fact-based information, we often encounter technical issues related to accounting, actuarial science, economics, science, and technology. We have many employees with backgrounds in all of these areas and they are led by five experts—our Technical Chiefs—to help us dive deeper into these areas.
October 29, 2014
Tagged about GAO, accountant, accounting, actuarial science, actuary, ARM, auditing, Center for Science Technology and Engineering, chief accountant, chief actuary, chief economist, chief scientist, chief technologist, economist, experts, GAO, government accountability office, scientist, technical chiefs, technologist, technology assessments, usgao
Federal agencies provide many types of services to the public, such as border and airport security and visitor education in national parks and forests. But how do they know that these services are meeting people’s needs?
Hear our podcast with Chris Mihm, Managing Director of GAO’s Strategic Issues team, who led a recent review of how selected federal agencies evaluate and improve their customer service.
October 27, 2014
Tagged CBP, customer service, Customs and Border Protection, disability compensation, federal, federal agencies, Federal Student Aid, forest service, FSA, goals, GPRAMA, National Park Service, NPS, Office of Management and Budget, OMB, Performance Improvement Council, performance management, performance measures, podcast, service, SI, USFS, Veterans Benefits Administration, Veterans' Group Life Insurance, VGLI
On October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall, causing an estimated $65 billion in property damage. In the wake of the storm, the Small Business Administration (SBA) provided physical and economic injury disaster loans to help businesses and individual homeowners recover.
Hear our podcast on delays in loans to small businesses in the wake of this disaster with Bill Shear, a director in GAO’s Financial Markets and Community Investment team, who led the recent review of SBA’s administration of its disaster loans.
October 24, 2014
Tagged delays, disaster, disaster assistance, Disaster Loan Program, FMCI, GAO, government accountability office, Hurricane Sandy, loans, New Jersey, New York, podcast, SBA, small business, Small Business Administration, Superstorm Sandy, timeliness, usgao
The federal government relies on computer networks and systems to provide essential services affecting the health, economy, and defense of the nation. Incidents of hacking or cyber attacks place sensitive information at risk, with potentially serious effects on federal and military operations; critical infrastructure; and government, private sector, and individual privacy. The Department of Homeland Security has designated October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. To mark the month, we are highlighting some of our findings on federal cybersecurity efforts.
October 21, 2014
Tagged access controls, cyber incident, cybersecurity, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, DHS, high risk, inappropriate access, information security, internal control, IT, Justice, personally identifiable information, PII, risk
The U.S. food supply is one of the safest in the world, yet the CDC estimates that pathogens like salmonella in contaminated food, especially poultry, cause more than 2 million human illnesses per year.
Hear our podcast with Alfredo Gomez, a director in GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment team, who led a recent review of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s approach to reducing pathogens in poultry products.
October 20, 2014
Tagged camplyobacter, chicken, chicken parts, food poisoning, food safety, health, NRE, pathogens, podcast, poultry, poultry parts, safety, salmonella, turkey, usda
It’s the start of fall, the leaves are starting to change color, and the days are getting shorter. But fall also means the return of seasonal influenza—it’s flu season. Getting the flu vaccine is one of the best ways you can protect yourself against the flu. Earlier is better so you and others are protected before the season begins. However, getting vaccinated even in December or later still helps, because flu season lasts into early spring. Check out some of our findings on public health issues related to flu season.
October 17, 2014
Tagged Department of Health and Human Services, flu, flu season, HC, health and human services, health care, HHS, influenza, outpatient, supply chain, vaccination, vaccine
In 1979, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) designated October 16th as World Food Day to bring attention to the crisis of global hunger. According to FAO, there are more than 800 million people around the world who are chronically malnourished. The United States is the largest donor of international food assistance, spending about $2 billion per year to provide food assistance to countries where people are facing food shortages and malnutrition. In addition, the United States tries to help with emergency food aid to address humanitarian crises, such as the current crisis in Syria, and with programs that support agricultural development. We have reviewed several of these U.S. programs to address global hunger. Here are some of our key findings:
October 16, 2014
Tagged aid, disaster, emergency food aid, Feed the Future, food aid, food assistance, IAT, infrastructure, international, international development, prepositioning, USAID
From acquisition to operations and maintenance, Department of Defense weapons programs are consistently of interest to the federal government and the public. Since 2000, we have been assessing DOD’s most costly weapons program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The defense acquisition best practices we have developed have helped us recommend ways to control costs for such an ambitious program.
October 10, 2014
Tagged acquisition, ASM, best practices, budget, cost, cost estimates, DCM, defense, Department of Defense, F-35, joint strike fighter, podcast, quick look, sustainment, weapon systems
As autumn brings the chocolates, lollipops, and other sweets that come with Halloween, this is an excellent time to remember your teeth! October is National Dental Hygiene Month, which highlights the importance of keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy to prevent tooth decay and disease. We have issued several reports related to dental health and children’s access to dental services.
October 7, 2014
Tagged dental coverage, dental hygiene, dental services, dental visits, dentist, HC, health, health care, Medicaid, oral care