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2000 Census: Analysis of Fiscal Year 2000 Budget and Internal Control Weaknesses at the U.S. Census Bureau

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In September 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau told Congress that it had at least $305 million in budget savings out of its $4.5 billion fiscal year 2000 no-year appropriations for the 2000 decennial census. Of the $4.5 billion appropriated to the U.S. Census Bureau in fiscal year 2000, lower-than-expected expenditures and obligations resulted in available balances of at least $415 million. A lower-than-expected support staff workload reduced salary and benefit costs by about $348 million. Enumerator workload is largely determined by the initial mail response rate for returned census questionnaires. The initial mail response of 64 percent meant that Census enumerators did not have to visit more than three million American households. However, the available balances from the higher mail response rate and the lower support staff workload were partially offset by about $100 million of higher salary and benefit costs for enumerators, including a higher workload for unanticipated recounts. According to Bureau data, enumerator productivity did not significantly affect budget variances for the 2000 decennial census. The Bureau reported the national average time to visit a household and complete a census questionnaire was about the one hour estimated. Because of significant internal control weaknesses, the Bureau was unable to develop and report complete, accurate, and timely information for managing decision-making. Specific control weaknesses for fiscal year 2000 were related to the lack of controls over financial reporting and financial management systems. Financial reporting issues included (1) the inability to produce accurate and timely financial statements and other financial management reports needed for oversight and day-to-day management; (2) the lack of timely and complete reconciliations needed to validate the balances of key accounts; and (3) unsupported and inaccurate reported balances for accounts payable and undelivered orders--two ...
Date: December 28, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Airport Improvement Program: FAA Complying With Requirement for Local Involvement in Noise Mitigation Projects

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO determined whether the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must enforce grant assurance as a condition of providing noise mitigation grants to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport."
Date: December 28, 1998
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Antimicrobial Resistance: Data to Assess Public Health Threat From Resistant Bacteria Are Limited

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the potential threat to the public's health from antimicrobial resistant bacteria, focusing on: (1) what is known about the public health burden--in terms of illnesses, deaths and treatment costs--due to antimicrobial resistance; (2) potential future burden, given what is known about the development of resistance in microbes and usage of antimicrobials; and (3) federal efforts to gather and provide information about resistance."
Date: April 28, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Army Management: Need to Reassess Risk and Resources for Inspecting Ceremonial Rifles

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Since the 1920s, the Army's Ceremonial Rifle Program has lent obsolete or condemned rifles to veterans' organizations for funerals and other ceremonies. The M-1 is the only rifle currently authorized for this purpose. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 authorized the Secretary of the Army to conditionally loan or donate M-1 rifles and required that GAO review and report on the Secretary's exercise of authority under the amended law. The Army issued an interim change to its regulation governing the Ceremonial Rifle Program that partially addresses the Secretary's authority under the law. This interim change addresses (1) the number of rifles that may be provided and (2) the security, safety, and accountability over provided rifles. From the time the law was amended in October 1999 through March 2001, the Army reported providing 232 organizations with 2,054 rifles and had 937 open requests for 8,395 rifles. The Army estimates that it has provided more than 300,000 rifles under the Ceremonial Rifle Program since the program's inception."
Date: September 28, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation and the Environment: FAA's Role in Major Airport Noise Programs

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on airport-related noise, focusing on the: (1) types of projects that are eligible for federally authorized funding to reduce airport-related noise or mitigate its effects; (2) differences in the major methods for measuring the impact of airport-related noise; (3) Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) noise standards for civil subsonic turbojets and the reasons some of those aircraft are not required to comply with these or earlier standards; and (4) status of FAA's Land Use Planning Initiative and the major issues the initiative has raised about how best to address airport-related noise."
Date: April 28, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation and the Environment: Strategic Framework Needed to Address Challenges Posed by Aircraft Emissions

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Although noise has long been a problem around airports, the anticipated growth in demand for air travel has also raised questions about the effect of airport operations on air quality. Aviation-related emissions of nitrogen oxides, which contribute to the formation of ozone, have been of particular concern to many airport operators. A federal study at 19 airports estimated that, by 2010, aircraft emissions have the potential to significantly contribute to air pollution in the areas around these airports. GAO agreed to review efforts in the United States and other countries to reduce emissions at airports and the effect of improvements in aircraft and engine design on emissions."
Date: February 28, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation and the Environment: Transition to Quieter Aircraft Occurred as Planned, but Concerns About Noise Persist

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The transition to quieter aircraft required by the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 was expected to benefit communities, airports, and airlines. In turn, the transition was expected to reduce community opposition to airport operations and expansion and to reduce the demand for funds provided for noise abatement through federal grants and user charges. The results expected from the transition to quieter aircraft were partially realized. The transition occurred as planned and considerably reduced the population exposed to noise levels incompatible with residential living. Nevertheless, noise concerns remain a barrier to airport expansion, and the demand for federally authorized support for noise abatement efforts has continued. GAO identified two key issues for review by the aviation community. First, even though fewer people are exposed to aircraft noise, according to a survey in 1999-2000, more than half of the noise complaints came from people living in areas exposed to noise levels that FAA considers compatible with residential living. Second, if people are allowed to move to areas close to an airport, they may later find themselves exposed to noise levels that FAA considers incompatible with residential living as the airport's operations grow to meet rising demands. Furthermore, residential development in such areas could generate new opposition to airports operations and future expansion plans."
Date: September 28, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation Safety: FAA's New Inspection System Offers Promise, but Problems Need to Be Addressed

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS), focusing on: (1) to what extent ATOS addresses past concerns about FAA's aviation safety inspections; (2) what factors, if any, surfaced during the implementation of ATOS that could impede its success; and (3) what FAA is doing to address any factors that could impede the success of ATOS."
Date: June 28, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation Security: Long-Standing Problems Impair Airport Screeners' Performance

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effectiveness of screening checkpoints at airports, focusing on the: (1) causes of screeners' problems in detecting dangerous objects and the efforts of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address these problems; and (2) screening practices of selected foreign countries and the potential for using these practices to help improve screeners' performance in the United States."
Date: June 28, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

BIA and DOD Schools: Student Achievement and Other Characteristics Often Differ from Public Schools'

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Unlike public schools, the schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) depend almost entirely on federal funds. Although the two school systems are similar in that regard, their histories and settings are very different. The performance of many BIA students on standardized tests and other academic measures is far below that of public school students. BIA students also score considerably below the national average on college admission tests. Nearly all BIA teachers are fully certified for the subjects or grade levels they teach, although BIA officials said that some schools have great difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified staff. BIA schools report that they have greater access to computers and the Internet than do public schools, but the technical support available to maintain the computers and help teachers use technology in the classroom is more limited. Many school administrators reported problems with school facilities. Estimated per-pupil expenditures at BIA schools varied widely by school type, such as day or boarding school, but are generally higher than for public schools nationally. The academic performance of DOD students generally exceeds that of elementary and secondary students nationwide. On college admission tests, DOD students perform at or near the national average. Nearly all DOD teachers are fully certified for the subjects or grade levels they teach, and about two-thirds have advanced degrees. Access to computers and the Internet is better than at public schools, and nearly all DOD administrators said that technical support is available in their schools. Many DOD administrators reported problems with their school facilities, but the overall condition of their buildings did not differ greatly from that reported by public schools in 1999. Estimated per-pupil expenditures at DOD schools ...
Date: September 28, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biological Weapons: Effort to Reduce Former Soviet Threat Offers Benefits, Poses New Risks

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed efforts to reduce the threat of biological weapons proliferation from the former Soviet Union, focusing on: (1) the potential threats that the former Soviet biological weapons institutes could pose to the United States; (2) current and future U.S. efforts to address these threats; and (3) risks associated with the expanded U.S. effort and executive branch plans to mitigate them."
Date: April 28, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bioterrorism: Federal Research and Preparedness Activities

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Federal research and preparedness activities related to bioterrorism center on detection; the development of vaccines, antibiotics, and antivirals; and the development of performance standards for emergency response equipment. Preparedness activities include (1) increasing federal, state, and local response capabilities; (2) developing response teams; (3) increasing the availability of medical treatments; (4) participating in and sponsoring exercises; (5) aiding victims; and (6) providing support at special events, such as presidential inaugurations and Olympic games. To coordinate their activities to combat terrorism, federal departments and agencies are developing interagency response plans, participating in various interagency work groups, and entering into formal agreements with other agencies to share resources and capabilities. However, coordination of federal terrorism research, preparedness, and response programs is fragmented, raising concerns about the ability of states and localities to respond to a bioterrorist attack. These concerns include insufficient state and local planning and a lack of hospital participation in training on terrorism and emergency response planning."
Date: September 28, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Breast Cancer Research Stamp: Millions Raised for Research, but Better Cost Recovery Criteria Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the Postal Service's Breast Cancer Research Stamp, focusing on: (1) how the Service went about identifying and allocating the costs it incurred in developing and marketing the Breast Cancer Research Semipostal (BCRS) and the issues associated with effectiveness; (2) the statutory authorities and constraints associated with the Service's issuance of semipostals, in general, as a means of fund-raising; and (3) the appropriateness of using the BCRS as a means of fund-raising."
Date: April 28, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Budget Issues: Treasury's Interest Rate Calculation Changes

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reported on the Department of the Treasury's decision to change the calculation of the interest rates used since 1980 to determine the investment returns for a number of government trust funds, including Social Security and Medicare, focusing on: (1) how and why Treasury changed its rules for calculating interest rates in 1980 and 1998; (2) the effects of these changes on the unified budget and on the financial status of Social Security and Medicare trust funds; and (3) what other trust funds were affected by Treasury's decision."
Date: May 28, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bureau of Indian Affairs Schools: New Facilities Management Information System Promising, but Improved Data Accuracy Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is responsible for providing over 48,000 children with a safe place to learn. In response to concerns that data in its old information system did not accurately reflect the condition of facilities, BIA acquired a new system, called the Facilities Management Information System (FMIS). GAO was asked to determine whether FMIS addresses the old system's weaknesses and meets BIA's management needs, whether BIA has finished validating the accuracy of data entered into FMIS from the old system, and how well the quality control measures are working for ensuring the accuracy of new data being entered into the system from individual schools."
Date: July 28, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bureau of the Public Debt: Areas for Improvement in Computer Controls

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In connection with fulfilling our requirement to audit the financial statements of the U.S. government, we audited and reported on the Schedules of Federal Debt Managed by the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2003 and 2002. As part of these audits, we performed a review of the general and application computer controls over key BPD financial systems."
Date: May 28, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Business Systems Modernization: IRS Needs to Better Balance Management Capacity with System Acquisition Workload

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "GAO reviewed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fifth expenditure plan requesting $391 million from its Business Systems Modernization (BSM) fund. Although IRS's November 2001 expenditure plan satisfied the conditions specified in the appropriations act, IRS must still fully implement the controls and capabilities described in the plan. Since GAO's June 2001 report, IRS has made important progress in implementing modernization management controls and capabilities and addressing GAO's past recommendations. However, IRS's modernization management capacity is still not where it needs to be. Examples of modernization management controls and capabilities that are not yet fully implemented include software acquisition management, configuration management, quality assurance, risk management, enterprise architecture implementation, human capital management, integrated program scheduling, and cost and schedule estimating. The increased risk of IRS's proceeding without these controls and capabilities has contributed to project cost, schedule, and performance shortfalls. IRS acknowledges that it needs to strengthen its modernization management controls. IRS recognizes that these controls become more critical as the size and complexity of the BSM program continue to increase. Although IRS has actions underway to fully implement these controls, IRS plans to compensate for their immaturity by applying experienced human capital. Reliance on a combination of existing immature processes and individual expertise and heroic efforts is a short-term solution to a long-term need. Because the immaturity of these controls has already led to project cost, schedule, and performance shortfalls, IRS needs a better strategy to mitigate the risks associated with its fifth expenditure plan."
Date: February 28, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Chief Operating Officer Concept and its Potential Use as a Strategy to Improve Management at the Department of Homeland Security

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In a May 18, 2004 letter, the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security observed that many management and integration challenges remain at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and to strengthen the departmentwide reforms and transformation underway at DHS the Select Committee is considering options such as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) concept to help address these challenges. This letter describes the roles and responsibilities of an effective COO and presents certain options that could serve to strengthen and streamline management functions in a department as large and diverse as DHS. As agreed, we have summarized our reports on the COO concept, organizational transformation, as well as DHS's management and transformation challenges."
Date: June 28, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Child Care: State Requirements for Background Checks

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information for each state about the background checks it requires to be conducted on its regulated child care providers."
Date: February 28, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Child Welfare: Improved Federal Oversight Could Assist States in Overcoming Key Challenges

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, comprised of two subparts, is the primary source of federal funding for services to help families address problems that lead to child abuse and neglect and to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families; however, a number of challenges exist that impair states' ability to deliver and track these services. This testimony is based on findings from three reports issued in 2003 and addresses the following: (1) states' use of Title IV-B funds in providing a wide array of services to prevent the occurrence of abuse, neglect, and unnecessary foster care placements, as well as in providing other child welfare services; (2) factors that hinder states' ability to protect children from abuse and neglect; and (3) the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) role in helping states to overcome these challenges. Findings are based on multiple methodologies, including a survey to child welfare directors on states' use of Title IV-B funds; an analysis of nearly 600 exit interview documents completed by staff who severed their employment from 17 state, 40 county, and 19 private child welfare agencies; and a survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia regarding their experiences in developing and using information systems and their ability to report data to HHS. In each case, GAO also conducted multiple site visits to selected states and interviewed child welfare experts and HHS headquarters and regional officials."
Date: January 28, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cigarette Smuggling: Federal Law Enforcement Efforts and Seizures Increasing

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Illegal trafficking in cigarettes can generate enormous profits and is purportedly a multibillion dollar a year enterprise. As cigarette taxes increase, so do the incentives for criminal organizations to smuggle cigarettes into the United States. Cigarette smuggling results in lost tax revenues, undermines government health policy objectives, can attract sophisticated and organized criminal groups, and could be a source of funding for terrorists. Because of these concerns, GAO examined (1) the nature and scope of the problem of smuggled cigarettes entering the United States, including federal tax revenue losses and potential health risks; (2) federal law enforcement agencies'--U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)--efforts to thwart the smuggling of cigarettes into the United States; and (3) legal initiatives being pursued to enhance law enforcement efforts to thwart the smuggling of cigarettes into the United States."
Date: May 28, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civilian Acquisitions: Selected Agencies' Use of Criminal Background Checks on Contractor Principals to Prevent Fraud

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on selected agencies' use of criminal background checks to help prevent contractor fraud, focusing on: (1) policies and practices for making contractor responsibility determinations and conducting criminal background checks on contractor principals; (2) efforts to suspend, debar, or otherwise prevent firms or contractor principals that have violated relevant federal laws and regulations from receiving government contracts; and (3) Office of Inspector General (OIG) completed contractor fraud investigations involving principals and whether the principals who committed fraud had criminal histories."
Date: September 28, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act: Proposed Revisions to EPA Regulations to Clean Up Polluted Waters

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed proposed revisions to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations to clean up polluted waters, focusing on: (1) the reasonableness of EPA's economic analyses for the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act; and (2) whether EPA's determinations under the two proposed regulations were adequately supported."
Date: June 28, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: Information on Three Air Pollutants' Climate Effects and Emissions Trends

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Solar radiation is absorbed by the earth and is subsequently reemitted. The buildup of carbon dioxide and certain other gases in the earth's atmosphere traps some of that radiation. This is known as the greenhouse effect and is believed to contribute to a warming of the earth's climate. Concerns are growing that, in addition to carbon dioxide and other conventional greenhouse gases, certain air pollutants may affect the climate. GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent of agreement among scientists regarding the effect on the climate of three air pollutants--black carbon (soot), ground-level ozone, and sulfate aerosols--and (2) seven countries' efforts to control these pollutants, trends in these substances in these countries over the past 2 decades, and estimates for the next decade. GAO was also asked to summarize the relationship between economic growth and environmental pollution. The seven countries include four that are economically developed--Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States--and three that are developing--China, India, and Mexico. These countries were chosen because they have large economies with a high potential to emit these pollutants. The two federal agencies asked to comment generally agreed with the information presented in this report."
Date: April 28, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department