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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The Future of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship

thumbnail_defenseSince 2004, the Navy has been working on acquiring a new class of ship intended to provide surface combat capabilities near the shore (the littoral zone). The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was intended to have lower acquisition costs and to use innovative manning, training, and maintenance concepts. These concepts would minimize crew size and reduce operating costs over the long term. While previous surface combat ships had specialized equipment built into them for different missions, the LCS was designed to be reconfigurable for 3 different types of missions. As this new ship program continues to produce ships, we have been reporting on concerns and risks related to the Navy’s purchase and deployment of the LCS.

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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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