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  Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Government Accountability Office Reports
VA Health Care: Improved Oversight and Compliance Needed for Physician Credentialing and Privileging Processes

VA Health Care: Improved Oversight and Compliance Needed for Physician Credentialing and Privileging Processes

Date: January 6, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "VA has policies to ensure that physicians have appropriate qualifications and clinical abilities through the processes of credentialing, privileging, and continuous monitoring of performance. Results of a VA investigatory report in 2008 cited deficiencies in the Marion, Illinois, VA medical center's (VAMC) credentialing and privileging processes and oversight of its surgical program. This report examines VA's policies and guidance to help ensure that information about physician qualifications and performance is accurate and complete, VAMCs' compliance with selected VA credentialing and privileging policies, and their implementation of VA policies to continuously monitor performance. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed VA's policies, interviewed VA officials, and reviewed a judgmental sample of 30 credentialing and privileging files at each of six VAMCs that GAO visited. GAO selected the files to ensure inclusion of highly paid specialties, newly hired physicians, and other physician characteristics. GAO selected the judgmental sample of six VAMCs based on geographic balance and other factors."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Briefing on Commercial and Department of Defense Space System Requirements and Acquisition Practices

Briefing on Commercial and Department of Defense Space System Requirements and Acquisition Practices

Date: January 14, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) has had long-standing difficulties developing and delivering space systems on time and within budget. Some programs have been delayed by years and cost billions of dollars more than their initial estimates. Attempts to reform DOD space acquisitions in the past have sought to leverage commercial approaches or rely more on the commercial sector to meet DOD needs. These efforts have not been successful and, in some cases, have exacerbated problems, particularly with respect to oversight. In view of past challenges with adopting commercial approaches, Congress requested an examination of the following questions: (1) What are the differences between commercial and national security space system missions, requirements, and technology development? (2) What acquisition practices adopted by commercial companies could be used for national security space system acquisitions? (3) Which acquisition practices adopted by commercial companies may not be readily adaptable for national security space system acquisitions?"
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Department of Energy: Actions Needed to Develop High-Quality Cost Estimates for Construction and Environmental Cleanup Projects

Department of Energy: Actions Needed to Develop High-Quality Cost Estimates for Construction and Environmental Cleanup Projects

Date: January 14, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars on construction projects--those that maintain nuclear weapons, conduct research, and process nuclear waste--and projects that clean up nuclear and hazardous wastes at DOE's sites; these projects are largely executed by contractors. DOE has struggled to keep these projects within cost and schedule estimates. GAO was asked to assess (1) DOE's cost-estimating policies and guidance, (2) the extent to which selected projects' cost estimates reflect best practices compiled in GAO's cost-estimating guide, and (3) DOE's recent actions to improve cost estimating. GAO reviewed relevant documents, including support for cost estimates at three major construction projects--those costing $750 million or more--and one environmental cleanup project, and interviewed DOE officials."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Disaster Assistance: Federal Assistance for Permanent Housing Primarily Benefited Homeowners; Opportunities Exist to Better Target Rental Housing Needs

Disaster Assistance: Federal Assistance for Permanent Housing Primarily Benefited Homeowners; Opportunities Exist to Better Target Rental Housing Needs

Date: January 14, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In response to the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, Congress provided about $130 billion in disaster recovery assistance, including assistance for permanent housing. Congress has expressed an interest in how this assistance has been allocated to homeowners and rental property owners, particularly for state-administered programs. GAO's objectives were to review (1) how federal disaster-related assistance for permanent housing has been provided to homeowners and rental property owners, (2) the extent to which federally funded programs have responded to the needs of homeowners and rental property owners, and (3) the challenges that homeowners and rental property owners have faced in applying for and using federal assistance, and potential options for addressing these challenges. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed documentation for key programs and program data, and interviewed federal, state, and local officials regarding the challenges associated with these programs."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Surface Coal Mining: Financial Assurances for, and Long-Term Oversight of, Mines with Valley Fills in Four Appalachian States

Surface Coal Mining: Financial Assurances for, and Long-Term Oversight of, Mines with Valley Fills in Four Appalachian States

Date: January 14, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Surface mining for coal in Appalachia has generated opposition because rock and dirt from mountaintops is often removed and placed in nearby valleys and streams. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) in the Department of the Interior and states with approved programs regulate these mines under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and states also regulate different aspects of coal mining, including the filling of valley streams, under the Clean Water Act. Under SMCRA, mine operators must provide financial assurances sufficient to allow mines to be reclaimed. Under the Clean Water Act, the Corps may require financial assurances that the impact of mines on streams can be mitigated. GAO was asked to examine (1) the approaches OSM, the states, and the Corps have taken to obtain financial assurances for surface coal mines with valley fills; (2) federal and state agencies' monitoring of these mines after reclamation and mitigation are complete; and (3) the federal laws agencies may use, and have used, to address latent environmental problems. GAO gathered information from ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Results-Oriented Cultures: Office of Personnel Management Should Review Administrative Law Judge Program to Improve Hiring and Performance Management

Results-Oriented Cultures: Office of Personnel Management Should Review Administrative Law Judge Program to Improve Hiring and Performance Management

Date: January 15, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Administrative Procedure Act established unique conditions for administrative law judges' (ALJ) hiring and employment to protect their decisional independence. However, the potential for a wave of retirements and other events have focused attention on how ALJs are hired and managed. In response to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, this report examines, among other things, (1) the process for hiring ALJs and selected agencies' observations of the process; (2) ALJs' retirement eligibility and retirement issues; (3) and agency managers' reported ALJ performance management practices and stakeholders' views of these practices. To address these objectives GAO reviewed relevant statutes, regulations, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) retirement-related data, and other program-related documents, and interviewed officials from OPM, ALJ professional associations, and the two largest federal agencies employing ALJs--the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicaid and CHIP: Enrollment, Benefits, Expenditures, and Other Characteristics of State Premium Assistance Programs

Medicaid and CHIP: Enrollment, Benefits, Expenditures, and Other Characteristics of State Premium Assistance Programs

Date: January 19, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Fiscal pressures, rising health care costs, and increases in the number of uninsured may lead states to look toward public-private partnerships to help finance health insurance coverage. Through Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), states have had long-standing authority to operate premium assistance programs that subsidize the purchase of private health insurance. Enacted in February 2009, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA), which reauthorized CHIP and made changes to Medicaid, provided states with additional options for operating premium assistance programs. As of November 2009, states had not implemented premium assistance programs under the new authorities provided by CHIPRA, but, as allowed by CHIPRA, states were continuing to operate their programs under preexisting authorities. Through premium assistance programs, states use Medicaid funds, CHIP funds, or both to subsidize the cost of private health insurance--such as employer-sponsored insurance (ESI)--for eligible individuals. As such, premium assistance programs contrast with direct coverage, where states provide Medicaid or CHIP benefits to enrollees by paying doctors and other providers directly or contracting with managed care organizations. Previous reports on premium assistance programs have described the programs' potential ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Status of the Small Business Administration's Implementation of Administrative Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Status of the Small Business Administration's Implementation of Administrative Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: January 19, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Due to recent turmoil in U.S. credit markets, many lenders have been reluctant to offer conventional loans--that is, loans not guaranteed by the federal government--to small businesses so that they can finance their operations and capital needs. While the Small Business Administration's (SBA) principal loan guarantee programs, the 7(a) and 504 programs, are intended to help small businesses raise critical financing that they may have difficulty obtaining from other sources, the availability of such loans has also declined. Under the 7(a) program, SBA traditionally has provided lenders guarantees on up to 85 percent of the value of loans to qualifying small businesses in exchange for fees to help offset the costs of the program. Under the 504 program, which generally applies to small business real estate and other fixed assets, SBA provides certified development companies with a guarantee on up to 40 percent of the financing of the projects' costs in exchange for fees--the small business borrowers and other lenders provide the remaining 60 percent of the financing on an unguaranteed basis. Traditionally, lenders, such as banks, that participate in the 7(a) or 504 programs often sell qualifying ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Summary of GAO's Performance and Financial Information Fiscal Year 2009

Summary of GAO's Performance and Financial Information Fiscal Year 2009

Date: January 21, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Other written product issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This report presents the highlights of GAO's fiscal year 2009 Performance and Accountability Report. The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the Congress, exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help the Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. To fulfill its mission, GAO organizes and manages its resources to support four broad strategic goals. These include helping to address challenges to the well-being and economic security of the American people, U.S. national and homeland security efforts, and modernizing government to meet current and emerging issues. Strategic goal 4 is an internal goal that focuses on enhancing GAO's business and administrative processes through investments in human capital, financial management, information technology, and various processes and systems needed to support the agency and the Congress. GAO maintains a workforce of highly trained professionals across a breadth of academic and scientific disciplines. About three-quarters ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Border Security: Better Usage of Electronic Passport Security Features Could Improve Fraud Detection

Border Security: Better Usage of Electronic Passport Security Features Could Improve Fraud Detection

Date: January 22, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2005, the Department of State (State) began issuing electronic passports (e-passports) with embedded computer chips that store information identical to that printed in the passport. By agreement with State, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) produces blank e-passport books. Two foreign companies are used by GPO to produce e-passport covers, including the computer chips embedded in them. At U.S. ports of entry, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspects passports. GAO was asked to examine potential risks to national security posed by using foreign suppliers for U.S. e-passport computer chips. This report specifically examines the following two risks: (1) Can the computer chips used in U.S. e-passports be altered or forged to fraudulently enter the United States? (2) What risk could malicious code on the U.S. e-passport computer chip pose to national security? To conduct this work, GAO reviewed documents and interviewed officials at State, GPO, and DHS relating to the U.S. e-passport design and manufacturing and e-passport inspection systems and procedures."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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