Category Archives: Business Regulation and Consumer Protection

Taking a Big Bite in GAO’s New Podcasts

The concept behind GAO’s original Watchdog Report podcast was to take a long report and distill it to a 5-minute conversation about the bottom line. We think it’s been pretty well received—we have over 400,000 downloads of our episodes and … Continue reading

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Who’s Watching What You Eat?

Although the U.S. food supply is generally considered safe, foodborne illness remains a costly, common public health problem. The safety and quality of the food supply is governed by a highly-complex system—involving 16 federal agencies administering over 30 federal laws. … Continue reading

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Domestic Abuse and Firearms

Today’s WatchBlog looks at another GAO report—in this case, regarding FBI’s firearm background check system and domestic violence records. We examined this issue at the request of Congress, and today we share some of what we found about the National … Continue reading

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Mining for Gold and Other Minerals on Federal Lands

It’s Valentine’s Day and while some people may shop for flowers and chocolate, others may be seeking a longer-lasting gift like gold jewelry. But it’s not just Valentine’s Day that can lead to a gold rush. Mine operators can submit … Continue reading

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A Tax Reform State of Mind

The tax code is complex and can create burdens for people and companies. And change does not come often. The last time the tax code was overhauled was in 1986. So what (if anything) should be done to reform it? … Continue reading

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Stopping Thieves from Stealing Tax Refunds

Want your refund right away? Well, fraudsters do too! For Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, today’s WatchBlog focuses on why identity theft refund fraud is a problem and what the IRS is doing to stop this fraud and help its … Continue reading

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Relief for Older Americans with Student Loans

An increasing number of older Americans have defaulted on their federal student loan debt. To recover this debt, the federal government can withhold a portion of Social Security payments—a process known as offsetting. A team led by Allison Bawden, a … Continue reading

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Smartphone Apps and Stalking

These days, wherever people go, their smartphones follow—often collecting location data along the way. You may choose to download an app to your phone to share this information. For example, an app can show your friend how far away you … Continue reading

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Life’s Difficult Decisions: Choosing a Nursing Home for a Loved One

Every year, millions of Americans seek care in nursing homes. If you or a close friend or family member are in this position, how would you choose the right one? Fortunately, the government runs a website called Nursing Home Compare, … Continue reading

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Elder Abuse by Guardians (podcast)

When an older adult becomes incapable of making informed decisions, a state may appoint a guardian with the authority to make decisions on that person’s behalf. While many guardians make these personal and financial decisions in good faith, some have … Continue reading

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