Federal agencies (1 - 10 of 10 items) in Past Year
High-Risk Series: Progress on Many High-Risk Areas, While Substantial Efforts Needed on Others
GAO-17-317: Published: Feb 15, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2017.
Since GAO's last high-risk update, many of the 32 high-risk areas on the 2015 list have shown solid progress. Twenty-three high-risk areas, or two-thirds of all the areas, have met or partially met all five criteria for removal from the High-Risk List; 15 of these areas fully met at least one criterion. Progress has been possible through the concerted efforts of Congress and leadership and staff i...
Climate Change: Improved Federal Coordination Could Facilitate Use of Forward-Looking Climate Information in Design Standards, Building Codes, and Certifications
GAO-17-3: Published: Nov 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 3, 2017.
Selected standards-developing organizations generally have not used forward-looking climate information—such as projected rainfall rates—in design standards, building codes, and voluntary certifications and instead have relied on historical observations. Further, some organizations periodically update climate information in standards, codes, and certifications, but others do not. Some standard...
Environmental Protection: Information on Federal Agencies' Expenditures and Coordination Related to Harmful Algae
GAO-17-119: Published: Oct 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2016.
Twelve federal agencies reported expending an estimated total of roughly $101 million from fiscal years 2013 through 2015 to fund various research, monitoring, and other activities related to harmful algae—overgrowths of algae that can create toxic “blooms” in marine or freshwater environments. The agencies provided a mix of actual and estimated expenditure data and used different methods fo...
Advanced Technologies: Strengthened Federal Approach Needed to Help Identify and Mitigate Supply Risks for Critical Raw Materials
GAO-16-699: Published: Sep 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 2016.
Federal agencies are primarily focused on two areas of activity related to critical materials supply—assessing risk and supporting research. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted two criticality assessments on materials important to clean energy applications and manages the Critical Materials Institute—a 5-year, $120 million investment aimed at mitigating risks by diversify...
Grants Management: EPA Could Improve Certain Monitoring Practices
GAO-16-530: Published: Jul 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) generally awards three different categories of grants: formula, categorical, and discretionary. According to EPA data, in fiscal year 2015, EPA awarded the majority of its grant funds— $2.25 billion of $3.95 billion (57 percent)—as formula grants, primarily to states to support water infrastructure based on funding formulas prescribed by law. EPA award...
Levee Safety: Army Corps and FEMA Have Made Little Progress in Carrying Out Required Activities
GAO-16-709: Published: Jul 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2016.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have made little progress in implementing key national levee-safety-related activities required in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. More specifically, the Corps has been working to develop a national levee inventory, but the agencies have taken no action on the remaining key national...
Unauthorized Grazing: Actions Needed to Improve Tracking and Deterrence Efforts
GAO-16-559: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
The frequency and extent of unauthorized grazing on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands are largely unknown because according to agency officials, the agencies prefer to handle most incidents informally (e.g., with a telephone call) and do not record them. The agencies' databases contained information on nearly 1,500 incidents of unauthorized grazing where formal action w...
Climate Change: Selected Governments Have Approached Adaptation through Laws and Long-Term Plans
GAO-16-454: Published: May 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2016.
Selected governments have approached enhancing resilience through climate change adaptation, and some have aligned adaptation with broader resilience efforts (see figure). All five selected governments have enacted laws and developed long-term plans as a part of their approaches to climate change adaptation. These plans established frameworks for addressing climate risks. For example, the European...
Midway Atoll: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Faces Many Competing Priorities
GAO-16-382: Published: Jun 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2016.
According to officials in the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), operations funding for Midway Atoll (Midway) has decreased in recent years and project-specific funding has varied. Specifically, budget officials said that FWS, after increasing the funding allocated to Midway's operations to more than $4 million by fiscal year 2011, decreased Midway's allocation by m...
Tongass National Forest: Forest Service's Actions Related to Its Planned Timber Program Transition
GAO-16-456: Published: Apr 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2016.
The Forest Service has initiated some steps to assess whether its planned transition to young-growth harvest on the Tongass National Forest will support a viable timber industry in southeast Alaska—a goal the Department of Agriculture (USDA) established as part of the transition. For example, the Forest Service reported refining the data it uses to estimate the amount of young-growth timber to b...