GAO cites savings, program improvements from its recommendations
GAO said its recommendations have saved federal agencies more than $55 billion in fiscal year 2022 and led to improvements in areas ranging from cybersecurity of weapon systems to oversight of drugs prescribed to children in foster care will.
Most of the savings, nearly $36 billion, “resulted from recommendations from GAO to the Office of Management and Budget, at their initiative, to help agencies purchase goods and services more efficiently through fewer, larger contracts. The Small Business Administration will also recover an estimated $3.5 billion by implementing GAO’s recommendations to better monitor the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure funds have been properly allocated and to prevent fraud,” it said .
“GAO continued to oversee and evaluate the government’s $4.6 trillion response to COVID-19, releasing products in areas such as contact tracing for air travel, emergency relief fund distribution, and long-COVID. GAO has made more than 300 recommendations on government efforts to improve public health, transparency and accountability of federal funds,” it added.
It also highlighted recommendations that led to improvements in agency operations, including the DEA’s use of computer algorithms to “proactively identify patterns and trends in drug distribution”; updating the State Department‘s strategic plan to “identify opportunities to remove barriers and build a more diverse and inclusive workforce”; and collaboration between the FDA and agriculture to reduce food waste.
“In addition to these benefits, GAO continued to expand its work focused on the well-being of the American people, including barriers faced by students and teachers in areas of high poverty and challenges faced by our veterans in transitioning civilian life and access to disability benefits. Our science, technology assessment and analytics team has also released products on brain-computer interfaces, deep-sea mining, vaccine development, blockchain and persistent chemicals – which will inform future policy decisions,” it said.