Blog Archives

GAO’s Contracting and National Security Acquisitions Team

GAO’s workforce is organized largely by subject area, with most employees working in 1 of 14 mission teams, many of which we have highlighted on the WatchBlog. Today we’ll be putting the spotlight on the Contracting and National Security Acquisitions (CNSA) … Continue reading

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Filling out Those Federal Forms

Americans spend a lot of time providing information to federal agencies, whether via tax forms or benefit applications. Overall, for example, based on government-wide estimates, the public spent 9.8 billion hours responding to federal information collections in fiscal year 2015. … Continue reading

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Recidivism Among Prison Inmates with Serious Mental Illness

As of May 2017, the Federal Bureau of Prisons oversaw almost 188,000 inmates—and nearly 8,000 of them were considered to have a serious mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Research has shown that prison inmates with serious mental illness … Continue reading

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How Can Low-Income Renters Find Affordable Housing?

Low-income renters often face difficulties finding housing they can afford. But a federal program—the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)—helps encourage developing this type of housing. This tax credit program has helped finance about 50,000 affordable rental units annually. The IRS … Continue reading

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NASA’s IT Management and Cybersecurity

NASA depends heavily upon information technology (IT) to conduct its work. The agency spends at least $1.5 billion annually on IT investments that support its missions, including ground control systems for the International Space Station and space exploration programs. Because … Continue reading

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How Prepared is the Air Force?

Air Force readiness has declined steadily since the 1990s as its aircraft fleet has aged and become smaller. The Air Force is working to rebuild the readiness of its force but has also stated that it must grow significantly to … Continue reading

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Repayment Options for Student Loans

The Department of Education provides billions of dollars in federal student loans for higher education through the Direct Loan program each year. However, as of September 2017, borrowers defaulted on $149 billion worth of federal student loan debt. Since October … Continue reading

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As TARP Turns 10, Looking Back at the U.S. Government’s Assistance to the Banking Sector

Ten years ago this week, Congress responded to turmoil in the financial markets by creating the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Through TARP, the Treasury Department disbursed a total of $440 billion to help stabilize the financial system, restore economic … Continue reading

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Cuppa GAO: Transformational Technology

Scientific and technological innovation is an important component of U.S. economic competitiveness and prosperity. Federal agencies supported these innovations—many of which have resulted in new or significantly enhanced technologies—by funding research to the tune of nearly $70 billion in FY17. These … Continue reading

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Natural Disasters and FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program

In September 2018, Hurricane Florence brought record-setting floods to the Carolinas and another major deployment of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The numbers aren’t in yet on Florence’s impact, but in 2017, California wildfires, Atlantic hurricanes and other natural disasters … Continue reading

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