The GAO has said that its recommendations generated more than $55 billion in savings to federal agencies in fiscal 2022 and have led to improvements in areas ranging from cybersecurity of weapons systems to monitoring of medications prescribed to children in foster care.
The largest part of the savings, almost $36 billion, “resulted from GAO recommendations to the Office of Management and Budget on their initiative to help agencies purchase goods and services more efficiently through fewer, larger contracts. The Small Business Administration will also recover an estimated $3.5 billion by implementing GAO’s recommendations to better oversee the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure funds were properly distributed and prevent fraud,” it said.
“GAO continued its oversight and evaluation of the government’s $4.6 trillion response to COVID-19, and issued products in areas like contact tracing for air travel, the distribution of emergency relief funds, and long COVID. GAO has made more than 300 recommendations on government efforts to improve public health, transparency and the accountability of federal funds,” it added.
It also highlighted recommendations that led to improvements in agency operations including the DEA’s use of computer algorithms to “proactively identify patterns and trends in drug distribution”; the State Department update of its strategic plan to “identify ways to remove barriers and build a more diverse and inclusive workforce”; and cooperation between the FDA and Agriculture to reduce food waste.
“In addition to these benefits, GAO continued to build upon its bodies of work focused on the well-being of the American people, including obstacles experienced by students and teachers in high-poverty areas, as well as challenges our veterans face in transitioning to civilian life and accessing disability benefits. Our Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics team also issued products on brain-computer interface, deep-sea mining, vaccine development, blockchain, and persistent chemicals—which will influence future policy decisions,” it said.