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Unemployment Insurance: Economic Circumstances of Individuals Who Exhausted Benefits

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Among the 15 million workers who lost jobs from 2007 to 2009, half received Unemployment Insurance (UI), and about one-fourth of the recipients exhausted UI benefits by January 2010. This represents 2 million displaced workers who exhausted UI as of early 2010, the most recent survey data available. Labor estimated that about an additional 3-1/2 million individuals exhausted benefits in 2010 and 2011."
Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD Civilian Personnel: Intelligence Personnel System Incorporates Safeguards, but Opportunities Exist for Improvement

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 2001, Government Accountability Office (GAO) has designated strategic human capital management as a high-risk area because of the federal government's long-standing lack of a consistent approach to such management. In 2007, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) began developing a human capital system--called the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS)--to manage Department of Defense (DOD) civilian intelligence personnel. In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the extent to which DOD has (1) incorporated internal safeguards into DCIPS and monitored the implementation of these safeguards and (2) developed mechanisms to identify employee perceptions about DCIPS. GAO analyzed guidance, interviewed appropriate officials, and conducted discussion groups with employees at select DOD components. At the end of GAO's review, legislation was enacted that impacts, among other things, how DCIPS employees will be paid."
Date: December 17, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Architect of the Capitol: Management and Accountability Framework Needed to Lead and Execute Change

Description: A statement of record issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses management shortcomings at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) in such areas as strategic planning, organizational alignment, strategic human capital, financial management, and information technology. AOC has demonstrated a commitment to change through ongoing management improvements. It is also revisiting its strategic planning efforts, working with a consultant to implement best practices, and implementing a new financial management system. AOC recognizes that change will not come quickly or easily. AOC must ensure that it has the policies, procedures, and people in place to effectively implement the needed changes. GAO believes that AOC must ensure top leadership commitment to change; identify long-term, mission-critical goals through a re-invigorated strategic planning process tied to serving the Congress; develop annual goals and a system for measuring progress; and establish individual accountability and commensurate authority for achieving results."
Date: April 17, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space Acquisitions: DOD Needs to Take More Action to Address Unrealistic Initial Cost Estimates of Space Systems

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Estimated costs for the Department of Defense's (DOD) major space acquisition programs have increased by about $12.2 billion from initial estimates for fiscal years 2006 through 2011. Cost growth for ongoing Air Force programs above initial estimates accounts for a substantial portion of this 44 percent increase. In light of the role that optimistic estimating is believed to have played in exacerbating space acquisition cost growth, you requested that we examine (1) in what areas space system acquisition cost estimates have been unrealistic and (2) what incentives and pressures have contributed to the quality and usefulness of cost estimates for space system acquisitions."
Date: November 17, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Research: Policies Guiding the Dissemination of Scientific Research from Selected Agencies Should Be Clarified and Better Communicated

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Researchers at federal agencies disseminate their research results through a variety of approaches, including scientific publications, presentations, press releases, and media interviews. Because of recent concerns about some federal researchers possibly being restricted from disseminating their research on controversial topics, GAO determined (1) the policies that guide the dissemination of federal research at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); (2) how effectively these agencies have communicated their policies to researchers; and (3) the extent to which researchers have been restricted in disseminating their research. GAO conducted a survey of 1,811 researchers randomly selected at the three agencies, and had a 66 percent response rate."
Date: May 17, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Higher Education: Use of New Data Could Help Improve Oversight of Distance Education

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As the largest provider of financial aid in higher education, with about $134 billion in Title IV funds provided to students in fiscal year 2010, the Department of Education (Education) has a considerable interest in distance education. Distance education--that is, offering courses by the Internet, video, or other forms outside the classroom--has been a growing force in postsecondary education and there are questions about quality and adequate oversight. GAO was asked to determine (1) the characteristics of distance education today, (2) the characteristics of students participating in distance education, (3) how the quality of distance education is being assessed, and (4) how Education monitors distance education in its stewardship of federal student aid funds. GAO reviewed federal laws and regulations, analyzed Education data and documents, and interviewed Education officials and industry experts. GAO also interviewed officials from accrediting and state agencies, as well as 20 schools--which were selected based on a variety of factors to represent diverse perspectives."
Date: November 17, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation Security: Federal Action Needed to Strengthen Domestic Air Cargo Security

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2004, an estimated 23 billion pounds of air cargo was transported within the United States, about a quarter of which was transported on passenger aircraft. Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for ensuring the security of commercial aviation, including the transportation of cargo by air. To evaluate the status of TSA's efforts to secure domestic air cargo, GAO examined (1) the extent to which TSA used a risk management approach to guide decisions on securing air cargo, (2) the actions TSA has taken to ensure the security of air cargo and the factors that may limit their effectiveness, and (3) TSA's plans for enhancing air cargo security and the challenges TSA and industry stakeholders face in implementing these plans."
Date: October 17, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intellectual Property: Key Processes for Managing Patent Automation Strategy Need Stengthening

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The volume and complexity of patent applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have increased significantly in recent years, lengthening the time needed to process patents. Annual applications have grown from about 185,000 to over 350,000 in the last 10 years and are projected to exceed 450,000 by 2009. Coupled with this growth is a backlog of about 750,000 applications. USPTO has long recognized the need to automate its patent processing and, over the past two decades, has been engaged in various automation projects. Accordingly, GAO was asked to, among other things, assess progress to date and any problems facing USPTO as it develops the capability to efficiently handle patent information electronically."
Date: June 17, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare: Information Needed to Assess Adequacy of Rate-Setting Methodology for Payments for Hospital Outpatient Services

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS), hospitals receive a temporary additional payment for certain new drugs and devices while data on their costs are collected. In 2003, these payments expired for the first time for many drugs and devices. To incorporate these items into OPPS, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) used its rate-setting methodology that calculates costs from charges reported on claims by hospitals. At that time, some drug and device industry representatives noted that payment rates for many of these items decreased and were concerned that hospitals may limit beneficiary access to these items if they could not recover their costs. GAO was asked to examine whether the OPPS rate-setting methodology results in payment rates that uniformly reflect hospitals' costs for providing drugs and devices, and other outpatient services, and if it does not, to identify specific factors of the methodology that are problematic."
Date: September 17, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hurricane Katrina: Trends in the Operating Results of Five Hospitals in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "New Orleans faces many challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina including the challenge of reestablishing the health care system and hospitals within the system. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on August 29, 2005, and the subsequent flooding caused by the failure of the New Orleans levee systems, resulted in the sudden closure, damage, or disruption in services at many of the New Orleans hospitals. On August 1, 2007, officials representing five New Orleans hospitals that have been the main health care providers in the region since the hurricane, testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The officials stated that since the hurricane they have experienced significant operating losses and that they expect the losses to continue. The official from one of the hospitals that was designated to present an overview of the specific problems facing the five hospitals stated in his testimony that the hospitals expected to experience a combined operating loss of $135 million in calendar year 2007. This operating loss estimate was calculated using operating revenue and expense amounts for all five hospitals for January through May 2007 and then annualized for the year. The official also testified that the combined operating loss for the five hospitals would equal $405 million by 2009. The hospital official cited several reasons for operating losses, including increased labor costs and Medicare reimbursements that do not take into account the increased labor costs since the hurricane. The hospital official appealed to Congress for additional federal financial assistance. The subcommittee asked us to review the extent to which Hurricane Katrina adversely affected the hospitals' operating results. To that end, Congress asked us to analyze 1) the operating results of the five hospitals before ...
Date: July 17, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation Assistance: Information on Payments Made Under the Disaster Relief and Insurance Reimbursement Programs

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the airline industry incurred significant losses resulting from the temporary shutdown of the nation's airspace and passengers' apprehensions about flying following the attacks. The Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (the Act) provided, among other things, $5 billion in emergency assistance to compensate air carriers for their direct and incremental losses stemming from the attacks. The Act also authorized the Department of Transportation (DOT) to reimburse air carriers for increases in their insurance premiums. On September 28, 2001, we completed the first phase of the work Congress requested, concluding that there was a reasonable basis to assume that the airlines' financial losses related to September 11 would exceed the $5 billion made available in the Act. Since then and pursuant to the second part of the request, we monitored DOT's progress in administering the disaster relief and insurance reimbursement programs and provided periodic status updates to Congress."
Date: September 17, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare: Comments on HHS' Claims Administration Contracting Reform Proposal

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted a legislative proposal that would modify Medicare's contracting authority. This report examines (1) the current law and practice in Medicare claims administration contracting, (2) provisions in the proposal that would increase HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) contracting flexibility, and (3) the provisions that deviate from standard federal contracting requirements for full and open competition and indemnification of contractors. Because of statutes and long-standing practices, Medicare claims administration contracting does not follow standard federal contracting rules in several ways. For example, federal agencies can generally terminate a contract at any time, but CMS cannot terminate contracts with Medicare claims administration contractors at the federal government's convenience. The proposed legislation would give CMS the same authority as other federal agencies to retain or terminate contractors. These provisions would increase the agency's flexibility to promote the contractor's performance and accountability. GAO is concerned, however, that the provisions would also allow CMS to bypass federal contracting rules for full and open competition. In addition, the proposal includes a provision that would require CMS to indemnify claims administration contractors from certain liabilities in a way that creates a potential open-ended liability for the government while reducing contractor accountability."
Date: August 17, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: FCC's Performance Management Weaknesses Could Jeopardize Proposed Reforms of the Rural Health Care Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Telemedicine offers a way to improve health care access for patients in rural areas. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Rural Health Care Program, established in 1997, provides discounts on rural health care providers' telecommunications and information services (primary program) and funds broadband infrastructure and services (pilot program). GAO was asked to review (1) how FCC has managed the primary program to meet the needs of rural health care providers, and how well the program has addressed those needs; (2) how FCC's design and implementation of the pilot program affected participants; and (3) FCC's performance goals and measures for both the primary program and the pilot program, and how these goals compare with the key characteristics of successful performance goals and measures. GAO reviewed program documents and data, interviewed program staff and relevant stakeholders, and surveyed all 61 pilot program participants with recent participation in the program."
Date: November 17, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Transportation System: Options and Analytical Tools to Strengthen DOT's Approach to Supporting Communities' Access to the System

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1978, the Essential Air Service (EAS) program has subsidized air service to eligible communities that would otherwise not have scheduled service. The cost of this program has risen as the number of communities being served and subsidies to air carriers have increased. At the same time, the number of carriers providing EAS service has declined. Given continuing concerns over the EAS program's long-term prospects, GAO was asked to review the program. GAO reviewed (1) the characteristics and current status of the EAS program, (2) factors affecting the program's ability to provide air service, (3) options for revising the program, and (4) tools for assessing the program, the options for its revision, and the program's performance. GAO interviewed stakeholders and reviewed the results of an expert panel convened by GAO, Department of Transportation (DOT) data and program documentation, and potential methodologies for assessing federal programs."
Date: July 17, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bureau of Prisons: Timelier Reviews, Plan for Evaluations, and Updated Policies Could Improve Inmate Mental Health Services Oversight

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "During a 5-year period--fiscal years 2008 through 2012--costs for inmate mental health services in institutions run by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rose in absolute dollar amount, as well as on an annual per capita basis. Specifically, mental health services costs rose from $123 million in fiscal year 2008 to $146 million in fiscal year 2012, with increases generally due to three factors--inmate population increases, general inflationary increases, and increased participation rates in psychology treatment programs such as drug abuse treatment programs. Additionally, the per capita cost rose from $741 in fiscal year 2008 to $821 in fiscal year 2012. It is projected that these costs will continue to increase with an estimated per capita cost of $876 in fiscal year 2015, due, in part, to increased program funding and inflation."
Date: July 17, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measuring Performance: The Corporation for National and Community Service Faces Challenges Demonstrating Outcomes

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "CNCS officials expect that most grantees from its main programs will adopt at least 1 of the agency’s 16 agency-wide performance measures. Specifically, officials told us that AmeriCorps State and National and VISTA grantees will adopt at least 1 of CNCS’s performance measures by fiscal year 2012, and Senior Corps grantees will adopt at least 1 measure by fiscal year 2013. However, officials also said that they plan to fund some activities that do not fall under the performance measures, particularly activities that meet local needs and/or are innovative. For example, CNCS has funded grantees in the state of Washington to carry out gang violence prevention activities to address this community challenge. This could present challenges for CNCS as it balances accountability, using its performance measures to assess the impact of grantees’ service activities, with flexibility, allowing grantees to take on projects that meet local needs. CNCS may find it difficult to demonstrate the effectiveness of its service activities that fall outside its performance measures. Additionally, CNCS faces challenges using its performance measures to promote accountability among its Senior Corps grantees, as legal restrictions make it difficult for CNCS to remove funding from grantees that consistently fail to meet their performance targets, and these restrictions include some requirements for Senior Corps programs that do not apply to CNCS’s other programs. These restrictions can make it more difficult to hold these grantees accountable for performance. Specifically, officials told us that failure to meet performance targets is not a sufficient reason to re-compete a Senior Corps grant, and that it is very difficult to terminate a grant for poor performance. At the time of our review, CNCS officials told us that they have not yet sought statutory changes ...
Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Enhanced DHS Oversight and Assessment of Interagency Coordination Is Needed for the Northern Border

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The challenges of securing the U.S.-Canadian border involve the coordination of multiple partners. The results of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) efforts to integrate border security among its components and across federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners are unclear. GAO was asked to address the extent to which DHS has (1) improved coordination with state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners; (2) progressed in addressing past federal coordination challenges; and (3) progressed in securing the northern border and used coordination efforts to address existing vulnerabilities. GAO reviewed interagency agreements, strategies, and operational documents that address DHS's reported northern border vulnerabilities such as terrorism. GAO visited four Border Patrol sectors, selected based on threat, and interviewed officials from federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian agencies operating within these sectors. While these results cannot be generalized, they provided insights on border security coordination."
Date: December 17, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Workforce: Additional Insights Could Enhance Agency Efforts Related to Hispanic Representation

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Hispanic representation in the federal workforce has historically been lower than in the Civilian Labor Force (CLF). Understanding factors affecting representation is important to developing and maintaining a high-quality and inclusive workforce. In this report, GAO identifies and analyzes factors affecting Hispanic representation in the federal workforce, examines oversight roles of EEOC and OPM, and provides illustrations of selected federal agencies' efforts with respect to Hispanic representation. GAO constructed a multivariate logistic regression model, with advice from experts, to determine how factors affected the likelihood of Hispanics and non-Hispanics being in the federal versus nonfederal workforce. GAO's analyses are not intended to and do not show the existence or absence of discrimination in the federal workforce."
Date: August 17, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Direct Student Loans: Overpayments During the Department of Education's Conversion to a New Payment System

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed reports of erroneous Department of Education payments to schools participating in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) during the conversion to a new computerized payment system, focusing on: (1) the transition from the old payment system to the new payment system; and (2) whether the Department erroneously disbursed $400 million to schools participating in the direct loan program during the conversion."
Date: February 17, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD's High-Risk Areas: Progress Made Implementing Supply Chain Management Recommendations, but Full Extent of Improvement Unknown

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have focused attention on the Department of Defense's (DOD) supply chain management. The supply chain can be critical to determining outcomes on the battlefield, and the investment of resources in DOD's supply chain is substantial. In 2005, with the encouragement of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), DOD prepared an improvement plan to address some of the systemic weaknesses in supply chain management. GAO was asked to monitor implementation of the plan and DOD's progress toward improving supply chain management. GAO reviewed (1) the integration of supply chain management with broader defense business transformation and strategic logistics planning efforts; and (2) the extent DOD is able to demonstrate progress. In addition, GAO developed a baseline of prior supply chain management recommendations. GAO surveyed supply chain-related reports issued since October 2001, identified common themes, and determined the status of the recommendations."
Date: January 17, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Insecurity Persists in Sub-Saharan Africa despite Efforts to Halve Hunger by 2015

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "At the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) in Rome, the United States and more than 180 world leaders pledged to halve the total number of undernourished people worldwide from the 1990 level---a commitment that they reaffirmed in 2000 when they established the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which included a target to halve the proportion or the percentage of the world's population that is undernourished by 2015. More than a decade later, however, the number of undernourished people has not decreased significantly, and about 850 million people, including 170 million children, remain undernourished, according to the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Furthermore, the number of undernourished people in sub-Saharan Africa has increased from about 170 million in the period of 1990 to 1992 to over 200 million in the period of 2001 to 2003. Since early 2007, food-related riots have occurred in 15 countries, including 7 in sub-Saharan Africa, leading both the UN Secretary-General and the head of the World Food Program (WFP) to express concern about the impact of chronic undernourishment, or food insecurity, on world peace and security. In January 2008, world leaders meeting in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum predicted that food insecurity would be among the top potential threats to the world economy this year and for decades to come. In April 2008, the President of the World Bank called for a New Deal for a Global Food Policy that would involve a combination of long-term efforts to boost agricultural productivity in developing countries and short-term emergency aid to address immediate food crises. GAO recently examined (1) factors that contribute to persistent food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and (2) the extent to which host governments and donors, including the United ...
Date: July 17, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Advertising Contracts: Distribution to Small Disadvantaged Businesses

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the distribution of federal contract dollars for advertising services to small disadvantaged businesses (SDB), focusing on: (1) the goals established for federal contracting with small minority-owned and women-owned businesses; (2) trend data on the distribution of prime advertising obligations for fiscal years 1994 through 1998; (3) information on the distribution of and competition for advertising contracts with fiscal year (FY) 1998 obligations; and (4) information on the distribution of subcontract awards to SDBs for selected advertising contracts."
Date: April 17, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federally Chartered Corporation: Review of the Financial Statement Audit Report for the American Chemical Society for 1999 and 1998

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "GAO reviewed the audit report covering the American Chemical Society's financial statements for fiscal years 1999 and 1998. GAO found no reportable instances of noncompliance. The audit report included the auditors' opinion that the financial statements of the corporation were presented fairly in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles."
Date: October 17, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Information Sharing: DHS Should Take Steps to Encourage More Widespread Use of Its Program to Protect and Share Critical Infrastructure Information

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "A wide array of cyber and physical assets is critical to America's national security, economic well-being, and public health and safety. Information related to threats, vulnerabilities, incidents, and security techniques is instrumental to guarding these critical infrastructures against attacks and mitigating the impact of attacks that may occur. The ability to share security-related information can unify the efforts of federal, state, and local government as well as the private sector, as appropriate, in preventing and minimizing terrorist attacks. The Critical Infrastructure Information Act of 2002 was enacted to encourage nonfederal entities to voluntarily share critical infrastructure information and established protections for it. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a lead role in implementing the act. GAO was asked to determine (1) the status of DHS's efforts to implement the act and (2) the challenges it faces in carrying out the act."
Date: April 17, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department