Category Archives: Topics

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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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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It’s the 30th Anniversary of the ADA. What’s Changed?

July 26th marked 30 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The landmark civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including education, transportation, employment, and voting. For example, … Continue reading

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From Search and Rescue to Special Forces: The U.S. Coast Guard’s Many Missions

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for conducting a number of essential activities, including protecting ports and safeguarding marine resources. However, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Coast Guard’s responsibilities have increasingly focused on homeland security missions, and it has … Continue reading

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Prioritizing the Needs of the Federal IT Workforce

The federal government spends over $90 billion on information technology (IT) every year. However, IT projects frequently fail, go over budget, or face unexpected delays. Additionally, threats to federal IT infrastructure continue to grow in number and sophistication. Federal agencies … Continue reading

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Racial Disparities in Education and the Role of Government

The death of George Floyd and other Black men and women has prompted demonstrations across the country and brought more attention to the issues of racial inequality. Over the past several years, GAO has been asked to examine various racial … Continue reading

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Reverse Mortgages Present Benefits and Risks for Senior Homeowners

You’ve seen them advertised on T.V. and asked, “What is a reverse mortgage?” A reverse mortgage is a loan available to senior homeowners (62 years and older) that allows them to convert part of the equity in their homes into … Continue reading

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