Podcast on Federal Agencies’ Customer Service Efforts

GAO Podcast IconFederal 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.

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Podcast on Disaster Loans to Small Businesses Following Hurricane Sandy

GAO Podcast IconOn 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.

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School Bullying and Legal Protections for Vulnerable Groups

Education Thumbnail imageMillions of American children and teens have been physically, verbally, relationally, or electronically bullied by their peers. Bullying can have harmful psychological, academic, and behavioral outcomes for victims. Because October is National Bullying Prevention Month, we wanted to highlight our report on school bullying and legal protections for vulnerable groups.

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Watching Out for Federal Cybersecurity

thumbnail_information_securityThe 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.

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Podcast on Food Safety and Reducing Pathogens in Poultry

GAO Podcast IconThe 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.

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Flu Season Is Here!

Thumbnail Health CareIt’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.

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Addressing Global Hunger

thumbnail international affairsIn 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:

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Controlling Costs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

thumbnail_defenseFrom 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.

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October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Thumbnail Health CareAs 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.

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GAO’s Homeland Security and Justice Team

thumbnail_homeland_securityGAO’s workforce is organized largely by subject area, with most employees working in 1 of 14 mission teams, many of which we have highlighted on the WatchBlog. Today we’ll be putting the spotlight on the Homeland Security & Justice (HSJ) team, which works on issues such as border security and immigration, emergency preparedness and response, and justice and law enforcement.

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