For Valentine’s Day – A GAO Love Song Mixtape

photo of a mix tapeValentine’s Day brings out our romantic side here at GAO. We’ve come up with a few musical suggestions for you as you sit on the couch with your main squeeze, open a nice bottle of wine, and snuggle up with some golden (not very) oldie GAO reports.

So press play to listen to our Valentine’s Day mixtape.

A bit of advice from us here at GAO: Don’t leave your sweetheart singing Please Mr. Postman on February 14th because instead of a card or even a passionate Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) letter you sent a text. Just not the same. In a recent testimony to Congress, we discussed less romantic issues such as how the decline in cards and letters is posing serious fiscal challenges to the U.S. Postal Service.

Photo of letters in a mailbox

How about a slow dance to Up Where We Belong? As you sway with your sweetie, your mind will probably wander to Air Force aircrew training requirements, and whether they are sufficient for the full range of missions. We made suggestions for how the Air Force can improve the training program and fly “up where the clear winds blow.”

Figure 3: F-22 Aircraft Conducting a “Hot Pit” Refueling and an F15C Aircraft Conducting an Aerial Refueling

How about some disco? On Valentine’s Day, Love Is in the Air—and so are thousands of shipments containing radiological material. This material enters the U.S. each year through airports across the country to be used in medical and industrial settings. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and some states issue licenses for import and possession of the material, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for verifying shipments entering the country are licensed. But we found that CBP failed to verify licenses for some shipments and that its processes do not ensure that all shipments are identified. We recommended  that CBP develop systems to improve shipment verification and identification.

When you ring your significant other on your cell, you don’t want I Just Called to Say I Love You to turn into I’m Losing You in the middle of the call. Americans increasingly rely on cell phones to get things done—including when they need to call 911 or get weather alerts during an emergency. Wireless network infrastructure makes all of that possible, but how reliable is it? We reviewed federal efforts to improve the resiliency of wireless networks following natural disasters and other physical incidents.

As you gaze at your beloved boyfriend, girlfriend, cat, or dog on Valentine’s Day and think, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” you may go on to think, “I wonder if I need sunscreen.” We reviewed the U.S. government’s processes for determining if sunscreen has safe and effective ingredients. These processes are different than other countries’ processes—which is why some sunscreens are available in Europe, and not in the United States.

sunscren

spacerTake a trip down memory lane with your valentine to The Way We Were. But before you rely on memory supplements to “light the corners of [your] mind,” consider our recent work on federal oversight of memory supplement marketing on the Internet. In a market review of examples of memory supplement marketing on the Internet, we found 28 examples of advertising that linked supplement use to treatment or prevention of memory-related diseases, a practice generally prohibited by federal law.

spacerYou’ve reached the last track on the playlist. You can hit rewind or visit gao.gov to read more reports.


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