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Assessing the Reliability of Computer-Processed Data (Superseded by GAO-09-680G)

Description: Guidance issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This publication has been superseded by GAO-09-680G, Assessing the Reliability of Computer-Processed Data, July 2009. GAO published a guide to assist its auditing staff in ensuring the reliability of computer-based data. The guidance provides a flexible, risk-based framework for data reliability assessments that can be geared to the specific circumstances of each engagement. The framework is built on (1) making use of all existing information about the data; (2) performing at least a minimal level of data testing; (3) doing only the amount of work necessary to determine whether the data are reliable enough for GAO's purposes; (4) maximizing professional judgment; and (5) bringing the appropriate people, including management, to the table at key decision points."
Date: October 1, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Information Technology: Management Improvements Needed on the Department of Homeland Security's Next Generation Information Sharing System

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for coordinating the federal government's homeland security communications with all levels of government. In support of this mission, DHS implemented, and has been enhancing, the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). It also has proposed a follow-on system, called Next Generation HSIN (HSIN Next Gen). GAO was asked to determine whether (1) DHS has stopped further improvements on HSIN and if so, the department's rationale for doing so and plans for acquiring its proposed follow-on system HSIN Next Gen and (2) the department is effectively managing the HSIN Next Gen acquisition. To accomplish this, GAO analyzed documentation, interviewed officials, and compared acquisition management processes and practices defined in industry best practices with those planned and underway by DHS."
Date: October 8, 2008
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

Electronic Records Archive: National Archives Needs to Strengthen Its Capacity to Use Earned Value Techniques to Manage and Oversee Development

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 2001, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been working to develop an Electronic Records Archive (ERA) to preserve and provide access to massive volumes and all types of electronic records. However, in acquiring this system, NARA has repeatedly revised the program schedule and increased the estimated costs for completion from $317 million to $567 million. NARA is to manage this acquisition using, among other things, earned value management (EVM). EVM is a project management approach that, if implemented appropriately, provides objective reports of project status and unbiased estimates of anticipated costs at completion. GAO was asked to (1) assess whether NARA is adequately using EVM techniques to manage the acquisition and (2) evaluate the earned value data to determine ERA's cost and schedule performance. To do so, GAO compared agency and contractor documentation with best practices, evaluated earned value data to determine performance trends, and interviewed cognizant officials."
Date: January 13, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Information Collection and Management at the Federal Communications Commission

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates industries that affect the lives of virtually all Americans. FCC-regulated industries provide Americans with daily access to communications services, including wireline and wireless telephone, radio, and television. To ensure FCC is carrying out its mission, the commission requires a significant amount of information, such as ownership and operating information from radio and television stations. In prior reports, GAO has found weaknesses with FCC's information collection, management, and reporting processes. While FCC has taken action, the commission has not implemented all the recommendations associated with information collection, management, and reporting. As requested, this report provides information on (1) the information FCC collects; (2) how FCC collects and manages information; (3) the strengths and weaknesses, if any, in FCC's information collection and management practices; and (4) the status of FCC's internal review of its information collection and management practices. To complete this work, GAO gathered information on FCC's information collection efforts, reviewed information collection and management practices for 30 collection instruments, interviewed agency officials and industry stakeholders, and reviewed relevant laws and guidance. FCC provided comments which discuss its efforts to improve data management."
Date: January 29, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electronic Health Records: DOD's and VA's Sharing of Information Could Benefit from Improved Management

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are required to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for interoperability (generally, the ability of systems to exchange data) and that are compliant with federal standards. The Act also established a joint interagency program office to function as a single point of accountability for the effort, which is to implement such systems or capabilities by September 30, 2009. Further, the Act required that GAO semi-annually report on the progress made in achieving these goals. For this second report, GAO evaluates the departments' progress and plans toward sharing electronic health information that comply with federal standards, and whether the interagency program office is positioned to function as a single point of accountability. To do so, GAO reviewed its past work, analyzed agency documentation, and conducted interviews."
Date: January 28, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Information Sharing: DHS Could Better Define How It Plans to Meet Its State and Local Mission and Improve Performance Accountability

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "To enhance the usefulness of intelligence products it provides to state and local partners, I&A has initiatives underway to identify these partners' information needs and obtain feedback on the products, but strengthening these efforts could support the development of future products. As of August 2010, I&A had finalized information needs--which are owned and controlled by the states--for 9 of the 50 states. I&A was working with remaining states to identify their needs, but it had not established mutually agreed upon milestones for completing this effort, in accordance with program management principles. Working with states to establish such milestones and addressing any barriers to identifying their needs could better assist states in the timely completion of this process. In addition, I&A has begun issuing a new customer feedback survey to recipients of its products and plans to begin analyzing this feedback to determine the value of the products, but it has not developed plans to report the results of its analyses to state and local partners. Reporting the results to these partners and actions it has taken in response could help I&A demonstrate that the feedback is important and makes a difference, which could encourage state and local partners to provide more feedback and ultimately make I&A’s products and services more useful."
Date: December 16, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electronic Health Records: Number and Characteristics of Providers Awarded Medicare Incentive Payments for 2011-2012

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Hospitals and health care professionals, such as physicians, were awarded a total of approximately $6.3 billion in Medicare electronic health records (EHR) incentive payments for 2012, which is more than twice the $2.3 billion awarded to hospitals and professionals for 2011. Almost half of eligible hospitals and less than a third of eligible professionals received Medicare EHR incentive payments for 2012."
Date: October 24, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability 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

Defense Management: DOD Can Establish More Guidance for Biometrics Collection and Explore Broader Data Sharing

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The events of September 11, 2001, and operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it critical for military units to identify individuals they encounter and share this information with other units and federal agencies. Biometrics are unique personal aspects such as fingerprints and iris images used to identify an unfamiliar person. Federal agencies with national security missions, such as the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State (DOS), need access to certain biometrics data gathered by the Department of Defense (DOD). GAO was asked to determine to what extent (1) DOD has guidance on the biometrics data to be collected to support military activities, and (2) there may be gaps in biometrics information shared between DOD and DHS. This is a public version of a For Official Use Only report, GAO-08-430NI, issued in May 2008. GAO examined DOD's guidance for field collection of biometrics data, biometrics sharing agreements, and information on national level efforts to enhance data sharing."
Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inmate Reentry Programs: Enhanced Information Sharing Could Further Strengthen Coordination and Grant Management

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In fiscal year 2011, the Departments of Justice (DOJ), Labor (Labor), and Health and Human Services (HHS) separately administered nine fragmented but minimally overlapping reentry grant programs with low risk of duplication. Specifically, GAO found that these grant programs are fragmented since more than one federal agency is involved in administering the programs. Further, GAO found that overlap across the nine programs was minimal because the programs varied in (1) their applicant eligibility criteria, (2) the extent to which their funds solely benefit the reentry population, and (3) their primary services funded. For example, Labor's reentry program limits eligibility to private, nonprofit organizations that will use the funds primarily to assist current or former inmates--residing in or released from any facility--with their employment needs. In contrast, one of DOJ's reentry programs limits eligibility to governmental entities that will use the funds primarily to assist current or former inmates--residing in or released from state, local, or tribal facilities--with their substance abuse treatment needs. Given the variance across eligible applicants, beneficiaries, and primary services, the overlap across the nine programs is minimal and the risk of duplication--when two or more agencies or programs are engaged in the same activities, provide the same services to the same beneficiaries, or provide funding for the same purpose--is low."
Date: December 14, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Work/Life Programs: Agencies Generally Satisfied with OPM Assistance, but More Tracking and Information Sharing Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "To improve its ability to recruit and retain federal employees, agencies have implemented a wide range of work/life programs, such as flexible work schedules, child care, and employee assistance programs. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) plays a key role in guiding federal human capital initiatives, including the implementation of work/life programs. As requested, GAO determined the extent to which: (1) OPM provides assistance and guidance to federal agencies for establishing and enhancing work/life programs; (2) OPM or the federal agencies track, evaluate, or modify work/life programs; and (3) OPM has identified leading practices in the private sector for the implementation of work/life programs and shared this information with federal agencies. To do this, GAO reviewed OPM policy and guidance; surveyed 40 federal officials--20 Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) and 20 work/life managers; and interviewed officials from seven private sector companies recognized for the quality of their work/life programs."
Date: December 16, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Information Collection: A Reexamination of the Portfolio of Major Federal Household Surveys Is Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Federal statistical information is used to make appropriate decisions about budgets, employment, and investments. GAO was asked to (1) describe selected characteristics of federally funded statistical or research surveys, (2) describe agencies' and Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) roles in identifying and preventing unnecessary duplication, (3) examine selected surveys to assess whether unnecessary duplication exists in areas with similar subject matter, and (4) describe selected agencies' efforts to improve the efficiency and relevance of surveys. GAO reviewed agency documents and interviewed officials. Using this information and prior GAO work, GAO identified surveys with potential unnecessary duplication."
Date: November 15, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Taxpayer Information: Options Exist to Enable Data Sharing Between IRS and USCIS but Each Presents Challenges

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2000, federal agencies estimated they saved at least $900 million annually through data sharing initiatives. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can use data from taxpayers and third parties to better ensure taxpayers meet their obligations. Likewise, Congress has authorized certain agencies access to taxpayer information collected by IRS to better determine benefit eligibility. In July 2004, we reported that data sharing between IRS and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the potential to improve tax compliance as well as immigration eligibility decisions (GAO-04-972T). For this report, GAO determined (1) the potential benefits of data matching, and (2) the options and associated challenges."
Date: October 11, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intellectual Property: Economic Arrangements Among Small Webcasters and Third Parties and Their Effect on Royalties

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The emergence of webcasting as a means of transmitting audio and video content over the Internet has led to concerns about copyright protection and the payment of royalties to those who own the recording copyrights. Arriving at an acceptable rate for calculating royalties has been particularly challenging. Under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002, small commercial webcasters reached an agreement with copyright owners that included the option of paying royalties for the period of October 28, 1998, to December 31, 2004, on the basis of a percentage of their revenues, expenses, a combination of both, or a minimum fee rather than paying the royalty rates set by the Librarian of Congress. During debate on the act, copyright owners raised concerns that small webcasters might have arrangements with other parties, such as advertisers, that could produce revenues or expenses that might not be included in their royalty calculations. In this context, the Congress mandated that GAO, in consultation with the Register of Copyrights, prepare a report on the (1) economic arrangements between small webcasters and third parties and (2) effect of those arrangements on the royalties that small webcasters might owe copyright owners."
Date: June 1, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Subcontractor Complaints Concerning the D.C. Union Station Renovation Project

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information regarding work done on the Union Station Redevelopment Project by Park Woodworking, Inc., focusing on the: (1) extent of the government's liability, if any, for costs incurred for which Park was not compensated; (2) extent to which Park was not compensated for the work it did; and (3) actions taken by the Secretary of Transportation and the Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General (IG) in response to complaints received from Park."
Date: December 22, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electronic Health Records: DOD and VA Interoperability Efforts Are Ongoing; Program Office Needs to Implement Recommended Improvements

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 required the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to accelerate their exchange of health information and to develop capabilities that allow for interoperability (generally, the ability of systems to exchange data) by September 30, 2009. It also required compliance with federal standards and the establishment of a joint interagency program office to function as a single point of accountability for the effort. Further, the act directed GAO to semiannually report on the progress made in achieving these requirements. For this fourth report, GAO determined the extent to which (1) DOD and VA developed and implemented electronic health record systems or capabilities that allowed for full interoperability by September 30, 2009, and (2) the interagency program office established by the act is functioning as a single point of accountability. To do so, GAO analyzed agency documentation on project status and conducted interviews with agency officials."
Date: January 28, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security Numbers: Governments Could Do More to Reduce Display in Public Records and on Identity Cards

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While the use of Social Security numbers (SSN) can be very beneficial to the public sector, SSNs are also a key piece of information used for committing identity crimes. The widespread use of SSNs by both the public and private sectors and their display in public records have raised concern over how SSNs might be misused and how they should be protected. In light of this concern, GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which SSNs are visible in records made available to the public, (2) the reasons for which governments collect SSNs in records that display them to the public, and (3) the formats in which these records are stored and ways that the public gains access to them. As well as looking at public records, GAO also examined the practices of several federal agencies regarding the display of entire nine-digit SSNs on health insurance and other identification cards issued under their authority."
Date: November 9, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The American Community Survey: Accuracy and Timeliness Issues

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "GAO has reviewed several major issues associated with the proposed full implementation of the American Community Survey (ACS) by the Bureau of the Census for 2003. If the ACS is approved, this mandatory mail survey would cost from $120 to $150 million a year, and would require responses from a sample of 3 million households to some 60 to 70 questions. The ACS would replace the decennial census long form for 2010 and subsequent decennial censuses. On the basis of sampling errors and related measures of reliability, the Census Bureau has decided that ACS data will be published annually for geographic areas with a population of over 65,000; as 3-year averages for geographic areas with a population of 20,000 to 65,000; and as 5-year averages for geographic areas with a population of less than 20,000. According to the Bureau, the annual ACS data and 3-year averages would be significantly less accurate than data for 2010 from the decennial census long form; 5-year averages, which would be available at the detailed long-form level of geographic detail, would be about as accurate as the long-form data. Federal agencies that extensively use the 2000 Decennial Census long-form data for program implementation would use ACS data in the future if the long form was eliminated. The questions to be asked in the 2003 ACS reflect justifications--specific statutes, regulations, and court cases--provided to the Bureau by federal agencies. To identify these justifications, the Bureau worked with the agencies using a process similar to that used to prepare the justifications for the questions on the 2000 Decennial Census long form. The Bureau's plan to use responses to ACS questions to develop samples for additional surveys is not prohibited by the disclosure provisions in 13 ...
Date: September 30, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Archives and Records Administration: Oversight and Management Improvements Initiated, but More Action Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The mission of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is to safeguard and preserve government records, ensuring continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. However, in today's environment of fast-evolving information technology, federal agencies are creating vast and growing volumes of electronic records while continuing to create physical records in large numbers. Accordingly, GAO was asked to assess NARA's effectiveness in overseeing the governmentwide management of records, including commenting on its capacity to identify risk of unlawful destruction of federal records; describe its ability to preserve permanent records; and assess its policies, procedures, and plans supporting key management and oversight capabilities (collaboration, governance, and human capital). To do so, GAO analyzed NARA documentation in these areas, interviewed agency officials, and reviewed prior work."
Date: October 5, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intellectual Property: USPTO Has Made Progress in Hiring Examiners, but Challenges to Retention Remain

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for issuing U.S. patents that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. Recent increases in both the complexity and volume of patent applications have increased the time it takes to process patents and have raised concerns about the validity of the patents USPTO issues. Adding to these challenges is the difficulty that USPTO has had attracting and retaining qualified staff. In this context, GAO was asked to obtain information about USPTO's patent organization. Specifically GAO reviewed (1) overall progress in implementing the initiatives in its strategic plan; (2) efforts to attract and retain a qualified patent workforce; and (3) remaining challenges, if any, in attracting and retaining a qualified patent workforce."
Date: June 17, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electronic Health Records: DOD and VA Have Increased Their Sharing of Health Information, but More Work Remains

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are required to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability (generally, the ability of systems to use data that are exchanged) and that are compliant with federal standards. The act also established a joint interagency program office to act as a single point of accountability for the effort, whose function is to implement such systems or capabilities by September 30, 2009. Further, the act required that GAO semi-annually report on the progress made in achieving these goals. For this first report, GAO describes the departments' progress to date in sharing electronic health information, developing electronic health records that comply with federal standards, and setting up the joint interagency program office. To do so, GAO reviewed its past work, analyzed agency documentation, and conducted interviews with agency officials."
Date: July 28, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department