GAO Lists Top 'Urgent Issues' for Next Administration

Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro released a list of 13 urgent issues the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified as among those needing the attention of President-Elect Obama and the 111th Congress during the transition and the first year of the new administration and Congress.

The list is the centerpiece of a new Web site GAO launched that is designed to help make the transition an informed and smooth one across the federal government.

"With the serious challenges related to financial markets and the economy, the financial crisis facing the nation, two wars under way, and the first transition since 9/11 and the creation of a Department of Homeland Security, this is absolutely a unique time," Dodaro said. "GAO has combed through all of our recent work to help identify where our work can help address urgent challenges facing the nation now, to assist new appointees in every agency zero in on the challenges of that particular agency, and to help identify areas with the potential to save the nation billions of dollars. The new Web site is designed to be easy to navigate and to find information since this is a period when appointees have limited time to learn about their new positions and the challenges that come with making a successful transition from campaigning to governing," Dodaro said.

Amendments to the Presidential Transition Act in 2000 included GAO as a resource to incoming administrations, specifically identifying GAO to serve as a source of briefings and other materials. The 13 "Urgent Issues" GAO identified based on its work that require urgent attention and continuing oversight to ensure the nation’s security and well-being are (listed alphabetically):

• Caring for Service Members
• Defense Readiness
• Defense Spending
• Food Safety
• Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
• Oversight of Financial Institutions and Markets
• Preparing for Large-Scale Health Emergencies
• Protecting the Homeland
• Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting
• Retirement of the Space Shuttle
• Surface Transportation
• The 2010 Census
• Transition to Digital TV

In addition to the urgent issues, the new GAO Web site (http://www.gao.gov/transition_2009) will include sections on:

Agency-by-Agency Issues

Each agency faces a range of distinctive major challenges affecting its mission, budget, and programs. Here, GAO summarizes its work at 28 federal agencies. This section allows new appointees to quickly and easily review GAO’s findings and recommendations on challenges facing each particular agency.

Major Cost-Saving Opportunities

A number of opportunities exist to limit costs and reduce waste across agencies and programs, as well as increase collection of revenues already due the government. GAO discusses about 50 such opportunities.

Management Challenges Across the Government

Agencies share a number of management challenges to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness and address current and emerging demands.

Long-Term Fiscal Outlook

This section describes the federal government's long-term fiscal challenges. Examples of Upcoming GAO reports on Major National Issues GAO's forthcoming work focuses on a wide range of key federal policies and programs.

Product Showcase

  • HAZ LO HEADLAMPS

    With alkaline or rechargeable options, these safety rated, Class 1, Div. 1 Headlamps provide long runtime with both spot and flood options in the same light. Work safely and avoid trip hazards with flexible hands-free lighting from Streamlight. 3

  • SlateSafety BAND V2

    SlateSafety BAND V2

    SlateSafety's BAND V2 is the most rugged, easy-to-use connected safety wearable to help keep your workforce safe and help prevent heat stress. Worn on the upper arm, this smart PPE device works in tandem with the SlateSafety V2 system and the optional BEACON V2 environmental monitor. It includes comprehensive, enterprise-grade software that provides configurable alert thresholds, real-time alerts, data, and insights into your safety program's performance all while ensuring your data is secure and protected. Try it free for 30 days. 3

  • Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker WBGT Monitoring for Workplace Safety

    Ensure safety with the Kestrel® 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, the go-to choice for safety professionals and endorsed by the Heat Safety & Performance Coalition. This robust, waterless WBGT meter is ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, offering advanced monitoring and data logging essential for OSHA compliance. It features pre-programmed ACGIH guidelines and alert settings to quickly signal critical conditions. Integrated with the cloud-based Ambient Weather Network, the 5400 allows managers to view, track, and log job site conditions remotely, ensuring constant awareness of potential hazards. Its capability for real-time mobile alerts and remote data access promotes proactive safety management and workplace protection, solidifying its role as a crucial tool in industrial hygiene. 3

Featured