Arghh, 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.
September 19, 2014
Tagged counterpiracy, Department of Defense, East Africa, GAO, government accountability office, Gulf of Guinea, Horn of Africa, hostage, HSJ, IMB, International Maritime Bureau, maritime crime, Office of Naval Intelligence, piracy, pirate, Somalia, State Department, usgao
Federal 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.
September 17, 2014
Tagged agencies, Congressional Review Act, cost-benefit analysis, federal, Federal Register, final rule, international cooperation, notice, oversight, regulation, regulatory, regulatory process, retrospective analysis, rule, rulemaking
GAO 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.
September 12, 2014
Tagged about GAO, clean opinion, Comptroller General, GAO, government accountability office, independence, INTOSAI, peer review, quality, quality assurance, usgao
In 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.
September 10, 2014
Tagged accountability, audit, compliance, control activities, control environment, controls, effectiveness, federal agencies, FMA, GAO, government accountability office, green book, Green Book Advisory Council, information and communication, internal control, monitoring, reliability, reporting, risk assessment, standards, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, usgao
Federal 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.
September 9, 2014
Tagged access, contractor oversight, contractors, controls, data, data access, information security, information technology, processing, security
If you’re heading to college this fall, you may be focused on the major costs—tuition and fees, possibly room and board. We have examined some of the other costs of college, such as textbooks and college debit cards, that can really add up if you’re not looking out for them. Here’s some information to help you manage those costs.
September 5, 2014
Tagged college, college de, cost, debit card, debt, EWIS, fees, FMCI, higher ed, higher education, information, ISBN, textbooks, transparency, university
School should be a stable environment for all students. In two recent reports, we looked at how states addressed federal legislation intended, in part, to increase school stability for children in foster care and those experiencing homelessness. We also highlighted student, school district, and child welfare agency challenges in minimizing school changes for these students. Continue reading
September 3, 2014
Tagged children, education, EWIS, Foster Care, foster children, homeless, homelessness, McKinney-Vento, McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act, stability, Transportation
The unofficial end of summer, Labor Day is a holiday for celebrating the economic and social contributions of the American worker. It’s also a good time to think about protecting those workers from occupational hazards. We have many federal safety and health standards to protect workers at more than 8 million U.S. worksites, but accidents at worksites are not uncommon. For example, in an 18-month period from 2006 to 2008, a dozen workers died on construction sites in Las Vegas, Nevada, and in 2013, a tragic explosion at a fertilizer storage and distribution facility in Texas killed and injured 14 people. Continue reading
Hurricane season is well under way, and we’re highlighting some of our reports and resources that can help inform federal disaster management in events such as hurricanes.
2014’s first named storm, Hurricane Arthur, has already found a place in the record books. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, July 3rd—when Hurricane Arthur made landfall in North Carolina—is the earliest recorded date for a hurricane to hit North Carolina. Continue reading
August 26, 2014
Tagged disaster, disaster response, Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, flood, HSJ, Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Sandy, hurricanes, Recovery, resources, weather