Category Archives: About GAO

Mining on Federal Lands After the Gold Rush

Neil Young once sang that he’d been a miner for a heart of gold. If he was on federal land, he may or may not have had to pay a royalty on any hardrock minerals he found, like copper, molybdenum, … Continue reading

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The Critical Role of Federal Partnerships with States & Local Governments During COVID-19

Partnerships between federal and local entities are key to achieving national goals for education, health care, transportation, and homeland security, as well as responding to emergencies such as hurricanes or—more recently— the coronavirus pandemic. Today’s WatchBlog looks at our recent … Continue reading

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How Do Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Relate to Investing?

Nonfinancial information about how companies operate can be an indicator of their long-term financial performance. This information includes how companies address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. ESG factors include things like climate change impacts and cybersecurity programs that may … Continue reading

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FedRAMP—Ensuring Safe Use of Cloud Computing by Federal Agencies

Federal agencies increasingly use internet-based (cloud) services to fulfill their missions. However, those services pose cybersecurity risks when agencies don’t effectively implement related security controls. The 2011 Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (or FedRAMP) aims to standardize the approach … Continue reading

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From Submarines to Fighter Jets—Repairing DOD’s Vast Array of Weapon Systems

DOD’s repair depots ensure that critical weapon systems like aircraft, submarines, and tanks are ready for military operations. But if these depots can’t complete maintenance on time, DOD’s weapon systems can’t be used for operations and training. So, how are … Continue reading

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How COVID-19 Could Aggravate the Homelessness Crisis?

The growing homelessness crisis in the U.S. could be worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. While data on the impact COVID-19 is having on homelessness are not yet available, Congress has already made efforts mitigate its effects through passage of the … Continue reading

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Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence, Plan for It

By Timothy Persons, GAO’s Chief Scientist and Managing Director of GAO’s Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics team. Since the 1968 release of the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, artificial intelligence (AI) has captured our imagination, inspiring both wonder and fear. … Continue reading

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On the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s Vote, the Debate on Equality Issues Continues

One hundred years ago, on August 18, 1920, Tennessee voted—by a slim margin of 50 to 47—to approve the women’s voting amendment. Tennessee was the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment. Ratification of the women’s vote in 1920 … Continue reading

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USAspending.gov Contains a Treasure Trove of Information, But How Reliable Is It?

August 14 is the deadline for agencies, including those that led the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to certify their spending data made available on USAspending.gov. Federal agencies are required to report spending information under the DATA Act, and … Continue reading

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The Challenges of Going Back to School

States and local governments are grappling with how to bring K-12 students back to school safely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic—whether in person, virtually, or via a hybrid model. Yet, even before COVID-19, several schools across the country had to close … Continue reading

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