Author Archives: WatchBlog

Expanding GAO’s Science & Technology Expertise

We provide Congress with nonpartisan and fact-based analysis of technological and scientific developments that affect our society, environment, and economy. To enhance our ability to do this, we established the Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics (STAA) team in January 2019. … Continue reading

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Federal Information Security: There’s Work to Do

Just about every federal government operation—from processing taxes and protecting national parks to coordinating military operations and delivering foreign aid—relies in some way on computers. Protecting government computer systems and the information stored in them is vital, and a 2014 … Continue reading

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Education for Students with Disabilities

In 1970, only 1 in 5 children with disabilities was educated in a public school, and many states had laws that excluded children with certain disabilities from school. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act sought to change that by requiring … Continue reading

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Climate Change and the Nation’s Most Contaminated Hazardous Waste Sites

Climate change may increase the frequency and intensity of certain natural disasters, which could damage Superfund site—among the nation’s most contaminated hazardous waste sites. For instance, flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 damaged several Superfund sites in the greater Houston … Continue reading

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Can Irrigation Technology Address Water Scarcity? (Podcast and Infographic)

GAO keeps a close eye on the latest technologies, but today we’re looking at a truly ancient one: irrigated agriculture. Despite dating back at least 5,000 years, irrigation technology continues to improve. Micro irrigation, for example, applies water close to … Continue reading

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Our Innovation Lab: Building a Sandbox for Audit Tech

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, being able to quickly make sense of patterns, correlations, and behaviors from huge amounts of data is vital. This is especially true for federal agencies and the audit community. As Taka Ariga, GAO’s first … Continue reading

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Preparing for Evolving Cybersecurity Threats Facing the U.S. Electric Grid

Electricity is essential for modern life. In addition to our modern home conveniences, like our microwaves, computers, and lighting, electricity is vital to hospitals, first responders, and financial services in our country. So, what would happen if our electric grid … Continue reading

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Treating Behavioral Health Conditions in the United States

Nearly 57 million American adults had a mental health condition (such as depression), a substance use disorder, or both in 2017—and 70% of them didn’t receive treatment for these conditions. Left untreated, these behavioral health conditions can cause other health … Continue reading

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Proving You’re You: How Federal Agencies Can Improve Online Verification

So much of how we collect and share information in today’s world is done online. We get our news. We do our shopping and banking. We book appointments. And online access has even made it easier for us to apply … Continue reading

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Our New “Science & Tech Spotlights”

GAO has launched a new line of science and tech quick reads, 2-pagers providing brief overviews of key topics in the field. To complement our more in-depth evaluations and assessments, these “Science & Tech Spotlights” summarize emerging innovations and the … Continue reading

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