Keeping Alcohol Out of the Driver’s Seat—Ignition Interlocks

thumbnail_transportationIn 2012, more than 10,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. While these types of fatalities have dropped over the last decade, almost a third of all traffic fatalities in that time involved alcohol. As we’ve reported, installing “ignition interlocks” in the cars of those convicted of drunk driving is one tool in the quest for safer roads. For Alcohol Awareness Month, today’s WatchBlog explores these devices.

Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

3, 2, 1…Liftoff of Our 2015 Assessment of NASA’s Major Space Projects!

thumbnail_spaceEach year, we report on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) major projects. Last week, we issued our latest “Quick Look” report, with updates on projects that are expected to cost at least $250 million. This year, 16 projects met that threshold, and among the 12 with firm budgets, the total expected cost is at almost $19 billion. Read on for our latest findings.

Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Halfway to the 2020 Census

census3Today marks the halfway point between the last decennial census and the next one in 2020. The census is a massive undertaking, and its costs have increased by more than 500 percent over the past 50 years. The Census Bureau is considering new approaches to save money. However, mistakes from the last census—specifically the abandoned handheld data collection devices with $3 billion in cost overruns—loom large. Today’s WatchBlog explores the issues.

Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Sharing Data to Improve Disaster Response and Recovery Programs

data1Since 2013, our Government Data Sharing Community of Practice has hosted a series of public discussions on challenges and opportunities related to sharing data in government. Read on for the findings of our latest forum on how government can use data to improve responses to natural disasters.

Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Surplus DOD Real Estate and Infrastructure

thumbnail_defenseThe Department of Defense (DOD) owns more than 562,000 military support facilities including barracks, commissaries, labs, and office buildings. These facilities are located on more than 5,000 sites covering more than 28 million acres worldwide.

 

Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Know before You Go: Weighing the Costs of College

cash1Ah, springtime—when high school seniors’ thoughts turn to checking their real and virtual mailboxes for news from colleges and universities. But the college selection journey doesn’t end with an offer of admission. Prospective students and their families must also consider the costs of higher education. Today’s WatchBlog explores the issues, and offers some ways to avoid college cost pitfalls.

Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Podcast on IRS Controls over Financial and Taxpayer Data

GAO Podcast IconThe Internal Revenue Service relies extensively on computer systems and information security controls to protect taxpayers’ sensitive personal and financial data.

Hear our podcast with Greg Wilshusen, a director in GAO’s Information Technology team, who led a recent review of IRS information security policies, plans, and procedures.

Posted in Information Security, Information Technology, Podcast | 1 Comment

Our Annual “Quick Look” at DOD’s Weapon Programs

thumbnail_defenseLast week, we issued our annual review of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) major weapon programs. This review assessed 78 programs that will cost a combined $1.4 trillion to acquire. Read on for highlights of our latest DOD “Quick Look” report.

Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Podcast on Oversight of DHS Acquisitions

GAO Podcast IconIn fiscal year 2014, the Department of Homeland Security planned to spend about $10 billion to acquire tools to protect against terrorism, disease, natural hazards, and border violations.

Hear our podcast with Michele Mackin, a director in GAO’s Acquisition and Sourcing Management team, who led a recent review of DHS’s oversight of its major acquisition programs.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , ,

U.S. Railroads: On the Right Track?

train1With over 780 passenger and freight railroads, more than 230,000 employees, and 200,000 miles of track, the U.S. railroad system plays a critical role in our nation’s infrastructure.

Today’s WatchBlog explores how safe our rails are, and what the future holds for the U.S. railroad system.

Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,