Search Results

Saving the Big Thicket: From Exploration to Preservation, 1685-2003

Description: Book describing the history of the Big Thicket region in southeast Texas and discussing the struggles during the 1960s and 1970s between conservationists and timber companies, which led to the establishment of the Texas Big Thicket National Preserve in 1974.
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: July 2004
Creator: Cozine, James J., Jr.
Partner: UNT Press
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VA Medical Centers: Further Operational Improvements Could Enhance Third-Party Collections

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the face of growing demand for veterans' health care, GAO and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) have raised concerns about the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) ability to maximize its third-party collections to supplement its medical care appropriation. GAO has testified that inadequate patient intake procedures, insufficient documentation by physicians, a shortage of qualified billing coders, and insufficient automation diminished VA's collections. In turn, the OIG reported that VA missed opportunities to bill, had billing backlogs, and did inadequate follow-up on bills. While VA has made improvements in these areas, GAO was asked to review internal control activities over third-party billings and collections at selected medical centers to assess whether they were designed and implemented effectively."
Date: July 19, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Drug Control: Aviation Program Safety Concerns in Colombia Are Being Addressed, but State's Planning and Budgeting Process Can Be Improved

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of State supports foreign governments' efforts to eradicate illicit drug crops. In recent years, State's Office of Aviation has maintained aircraft and provided support for the aerial eradication program of the Colombian National Police. However, eradication aircraft are often shot at from the ground requiring helicopter gunships and a search and rescue helicopter to accompany each mission. In 2003, the Office of Aviation fumigated more than 132,000 hectares of coca, a record amount. GAO examined (1) how the threat to the spray planes has changed since 2001, (2) what actions State has taken to address any operational safety concerns, and (3) what resources State provided for the expanding program during fiscal years 2001-04 and how it planned and budgeted for the program's growth."
Date: July 29, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Drug Control: U.S. Nonmilitary Assistance to Colombia Is Beginning to Show Intended Results, but Programs Are Not Readily Sustainable

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 2000, the U.S. government has provided a total of $3.3 billion to Colombia, making it the fifth largest recipient of U.S. assistance. Part of this funding has gone toward nonmilitary assistance to Colombia, including programs to (1) promote legitimate economic alternatives to coca and opium poppy; (2) assist Colombia's vulnerable groups, particularly internally displaced persons; and (3) strengthen the country's democratic, legal, and security institutional capabilities. GAO examined these programs' objectives, reported accomplishments, and identified the factors, if any, that limit project implementation and sustainability. We also examined the challenges faced by Colombia and the United States in continuing to support these programs."
Date: July 2, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Social Security Administration: More Effort Needed to Assess Consistency of Disability Decisions

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Each year, about 2.5 million people file claims with the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits. If the claim is denied at the initial level, the claimant may appeal to the hearings level. The hearings level has allowed more than half of all appealed claims, an allowance rate that has raised concerns about the consistency of decisions made at the two levels. To help ensure consistency, SSA began a "process unification" initiative in 1994 and recently announced a new proposal to strengthen its disability programs. This report examines (1) the status of SSA's process unification initiative, (2) SSA's assessments of possible inconsistencies in decisions between adjudication levels, and (3) whether SSA's new proposal incorporates changes to improve consistency in decisions between adjudication levels."
Date: July 2, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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VA Health Care: Guidance Needed for Determining the Cost to Collect from Veterans and Private Health Insurers

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "During a May 2003 congressional hearing, questions were raised about the accuracy of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) reported costs for collecting payments from veterans and private health insurers for its Medical Care Collections Fund (MCCF). Congress also had questions about VA's practice of using third-party collections to satisfy veterans' first-party debt. GAO's objectives were to determine: (1) the accuracy of VA's reported cost for collecting first- and third-party payments from veterans and private health insurers, and (2) how VA's practice of satisfying first-party debt with third-party payments affects the collections process."
Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Securities And Exchange Commission: Review of Fiscal Year 2003 and 2004 Budget Allocations

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This report responds to a statement in the Conference Report on the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) fiscal year 2004 appropriations directing GAO to study SEC's allocation of its increased funding for fiscal years 2003 and 2004. Historically, SEC has faced high staff turnover rates, long stretches of unfilled staff positions, and growing resource needs. Additionally, the agency has faced significant needs in its information technology area. In response to these trends and several high-profile corporate failures and financial scandals, Congress approved significant increases in SEC's appropriations to help improve oversight and increase public confidence in financial markets. This report builds on several reports GAO has issued on these issues. GAO was asked to review SEC's (1) allocation of its fiscal year 2003 and 2004 funds and (2) use of its information technology funding in fiscal year 2003 and its plan for 2004."
Date: July 23, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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GAO's Congressional Protocols (Supersedes GAO-01-145G)

Description: Guidance issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This publication supersedes GAO-01-145G, GAO's Congressional Protocols, November 2000. This report supersedes GAO-01-145G, GAO's Congressional Protocols November 2000, and GAO-03-198G, GAO's Congressional Protocols: Addendum I, November 2002. This document contains updated protocols governing GAO's work for the Congress. Since we implemented the original protocols in November 2000, we have monitored their application, and several areas were identified as needing additional clarity to enhance our ability to better serve the Congress. The refinements in this edition reflect feedback from Members of Congress and their staffs since the original implementation and, more specifically, comments received between November 2003 and June 2004 on proposed revisions to the protocols. These protocols continue to provide a means of holding GAO accountable for commitments made to the Congress and ensuring that GAO is consistent in dealing with all committees and Members. In order to address existing and growing workload imbalances and provide more transparency about our decision-making criteria, these revised protocols clarify our authority to conduct work, delineate our priorities for initiating work, and identify the factors we consider before accepting congressional requests for work."
Date: July 16, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Maritime Security: Partnering Could Reduce Federal Costs and Facilitate Implementation of Automatic Vessel Identification System

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As part of international efforts to ensure maritime safety and security--and to carry out its mandates under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002--the U.S. Coast Guard is developing an automatic identification system (AIS) that should enable it to monitor ships traveling to and through U.S. waters. For AIS to operate nationwide, ships need equipment to transmit and receive AIS signals, and the Coast Guard needs shore stations and designated radio frequencies to keep track of the ships' identities and movements. Yet unresolved frequency issues between the Coast Guard and a private company, MariTEL, have come before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). GAO reviewed federal agencies' progress in developing AIS nationwide and identified certain challenges and opportunities in completing the work."
Date: July 23, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Aviation Safety: Better Management Controls are Needed to Improve FAA's Safety Enforcement and Compliance Efforts

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The safety of the nation's flying public depends, in large part, on the aviation industry's compliance with safety regulations and the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) enforcement of those regulations when violations occur. FAA attempts to gain the industry's compliance through enforcement tools, including levying fines and suspending or revoking operating certificates, and partnership programs that allow participating companies or individuals to self-report violations of safety regulations and mitigate or avoid fines or other legal actions. GAO was asked to assess how FAA uses its enforcement options to address noncompliance and what management controls are in place to ensure that enforcement efforts and partnership programs result in compliance with aviation safety regulations."
Date: July 6, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Military Operations: Fiscal Year 2004 Costs for the Global War on Terrorism Will Exceed Supplemental, Requiring DOD to Shift Funds from Other Uses

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "To support the Global War on Terrorism in fiscal year 2004, the Congress appropriated $65 billion to the Department of Defense (DOD) in an emergency supplemental appropriations act. To assist the Congress in its oversight role, GAO reviewed (1) the adequacy of current funding for fiscal year 2004 war-related activities and (2) actions DOD is undertaking to cover anticipated shortfalls, if any. Based on the body of work GAO has done on the cost of contingency operations, GAO is also making observations on efforts to require greater accountability to the Congress on the use of funds appropriated to DOD for contingency operations."
Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Federal Chief Information Officers: Responsibilities, Reporting Relationships, Tenure, and Challenges

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Although the federal government has invested substantially in information technology (IT), its success in managing information resources has varied. Agencies have taken steps to implement modern strategies, systems, and management policies and practices, but they still face significant information and technology management challenges. Recognizing the key role of the chief information officer (CIO) in helping an agency to achieve better results through IT, congressional requesters asked GAO to study the current status of CIOs at major departments and agencies. Among the topics this report describes are (1) CIOs' responsibilities and reporting relationships, and (2) current CIOs' professional backgrounds and the tenures of all of the CIOs since enactment of the Clinger-Cohen Act."
Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Defense Acquisitions: The Global Information Grid and Challenges Facing Its Implementation

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) is in the midst of transforming military capabilities. The transformation relies in part on the Global Information Grid (GIG), which is focused on building a new Internet-like network capability that DOD envisions will enable weapons and other systems and people to share information quickly, allowing warfighters to identify threats more effectively and to respond with greater precision and lethality. DOD plans to spend at least $21 billion through 2010 to build a core GIG capability. GAO was asked (1) to describe the GIG, including the concept, key acquisitions, and implementation and (2) to identify significant challenges facing DOD in implementing the GIG."
Date: July 28, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Natural Gas Flaring and Venting: Opportunities to Improve Data and Reduce Emissions

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1995, the average price of natural gas in the United States has almost tripled as demand has grown faster than supply. Despite this increase, natural gas is regularly lost as it is burned (flared) and released into the atmosphere (vented) during the production of oil and gas. GAO was asked to (1) describe flaring and venting data and what the federal government could do to improve them; (2) report, on the basis of available information, on the extent of flaring and venting and their contributions to greenhouse gases; and (3) identify opportunities for the federal government to reduce flaring and venting."
Date: July 14, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Information and Technology Management: Responsibilities, Reporting Relationships, Tenure, and Challenges of Agency Chief Information Officers

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies rely extensively on information technology (IT) to effectively implement major government programs. To help agencies manage their substantial IT investments, the Congress has established a statutory framework of requirements, roles, and responsibilities relating to IT management. GAO was asked to summarize its report, being issued today, on federal chief information officers' (CIO) responsibilities, reporting relationships, and tenure and on the challenges that CIOs face ( Federal Chief Information Officers: Responsibilities, Reporting Relationships, Tenure, and Challenges, GAO-04-823, July 21, 2004) and to offer suggestions for actions that both the Congress and the agencies can take in response to these findings."
Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Mutual Funds: SEC Should Modify Proposed Regulations to Address Some Pension Plan Concerns

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Mutual fund investments represent more than 20 percent of Americans' pension plan assets. Since late 2003, two abusive trading practices in mutual funds have come to light. Late trading allowed some investors to illegally place orders for funds after the close of trading. Market timing allowed some investors to take advantage of temporary disparities between the value of a fund and the value of its underlying assets despite stated policies against such trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed regulations intended to stop late trading and reduce market timing. We were asked to (1) report on what is known about how these practices have affected the value of retirement savings of pension plan participants, (2) describe the actions taken by SEC and the Department of Labor (DOL) to address these practices, and (3) explain how plan participants may be affected by SEC's proposed regulations."
Date: July 9, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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GAO/PCIE: Financial Audit Manual: Checklist for Federal Accounting Reporting, and Disclosures

Description: Guidance issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) maintain the GAO/PCIE Financial Audit Manual (FAM). The FAM provides guidance for performing financial statement audits of federal entities. It is a key tool for enhancing accountability over taxpayer-provided resources."
Date: July 30, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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FY 2005 Annual Report on the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under section 1308 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (P.L. 106-398), the Department of Defense (DOD) is to submit an annual report to Congress on its Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program no later than the first Monday in February of each year. The report should include a 5-year plan that discusses the amount and purpose of funding needed over the term of the plan and a description of efforts conducted by the United States to ensure that CTR assistance is fully accounted for and used for its intended purposes. The act requires the Comptroller General to assess this 5-year plan and the description of efforts to account for CTR assistance within 90 days of the report's submission to Congress. The Department submitted its CTR annual report for fiscal year 2005 to Congress in early February 2004, and we briefed Congressional staff on April 29, 2004. We analyzed the 2005 report to determine whether (1) the 5-year plan addresses legislative requirements and presents accurate information, (2) the accountability section addresses legislative requirements and presents accurate information, and (3) past GAO recommendations have been adopted."
Date: July 9, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Defense Trade: Issues Concerning the Use of Offsets in International Defense Sales

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Views on defense offsets range from beliefs that they are both positive and an unavoidable part of doing business overseas to beliefs that they negatively affect the U.S. industrial base. Defense offsets are often viewed as the key to foreign sales and thus increased business on the prime contractor level. They can also result in reduced unit costs to the U.S. military because of the increased size of production runs. However, the use of a foreign supplier by a U.S. prime contractor as a result of an offset may lead to decreased business opportunities for U.S. suppliers. Additionally, U.S. prime contractors may develop long-term relationships with foreign suppliers, which may lead to the transfer of capability from the U.S. defense industrial base. As a result of congressional concerns about emerging trends in defense offsets, GAO conducted a number of reviews and issued multiple reports. Because of GAO's work in this area, Congress asked us to provide our observations on offset issues. Specifically, GAO is providing observations on (1) what constitutes offsets and how they are used in defense trade, (2) how that use has changed over time, and (3) the quality and extent of information concerning offsets that is currently available."
Date: July 8, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Nursing Home Fire Safety: Recent Fires Highlight Weaknesses in Federal Standards and Oversight

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2003, 31 residents died in nursing home fires in Hartford, Connecticut, and Nashville, Tennessee. Federal fire safety standards enforced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not require either home to have automatic sprinklers even though they have proven very effective in reducing the number of multiple deaths from fires. GAO was asked to report on (1) the rationale for not requiring all homes to be sprinklered, (2) the adequacy of federal fire safety standards for nursing homes that lack automatic sprinklers, and (3) the effectiveness of state and federal oversight of nursing home fire safety."
Date: July 16, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Contract Management: Guidance Needed to Promote Competition for Defense Task Orders

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) spends billions of dollars each year acquiring services through task orders issued under multiple-award contracts or the General Services Administration's federal supply schedule program. However, previous GAO and DOD Inspector General reports found that DOD was not obtaining the level of competition on these task orders that Congress had envisioned. Congress responded by enacting section 803 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, which requires procedures to promote competition and provides when waivers of competition are allowed. In response to a congressional mandate, GAO identified the extent to which selected DOD buying organizations waived the competition requirements of section 803 and determined the level of competition on orders available for competition. For this review, GAO randomly selected 74 orders at five DOD buying organizations."
Date: July 30, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Bonneville Power Administration: Better Management of BPA's Obligation to Provide Power Is Needed to Control Future Costs

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has experienced significant financial problems in recent years. BPA's cash reserves at the end of fiscal year 2002 had fallen to $188 million, and BPA estimated in February 2003 that it had a 74 percent chance of missing its Treasury debt payment that year. While BPA's finances have recently improved, and the agency made its Treasury payment in 2003, BPA's financial condition is still far from robust. In this context, GAO was asked to report on (1) the advantages and disadvantages BPA faces in marketing electric power in a more competitive environment, (2) the major causes of BPA's recent cost increases, and (3) the extent to which BPA is taking actions to control its costs."
Date: July 9, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Medicare: CMS Needs Additional Authority to Adequately Oversee Patient Safety in Hospitals

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) are considered in compliance with Medicare participation requirements. GAO examined the extent to which JCAHO's pre-2004 hospital accreditation process identified hospitals not complying with Medicare requirements, the potential of JCAHO's new process for improving the detection of deficiencies in Medicare requirements, and the effectiveness of CMS's oversight of JCAHO's hospital accreditation program. GAO analyzed CMS data on hospitals state surveyors found to have deficiencies in Medicare requirements that JCAHO surveyors did not detect, analyzed CMS's measure of JCAHO's ability to detect noncompliance with Medicare requirements, and interviewed JCAHO officials."
Date: July 20, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
open access

Information Technology: DOD's Acquisition Policies and Guidance Need to Incorporate Additional Best Practices and Controls

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The way in which the Department of Defense (DOD) has historically acquired its business systems has been cited as a root cause for its limited success in delivering promised system capabilities and benefits on time and within budget. In response, DOD recently revised its systems acquisition policies and guidance to incorporate best practices, including those pertaining to business systems. GAO was asked to determine whether DOD's revised systems acquisition policies and guidance (1) are consistent with industry best practices, including those pertaining to commercial component-based systems, and (2) provide the necessary controls to ensure that DOD component organizations adhere to the practices."
Date: July 30, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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