GAO has said that 53 percent of the 1,122 recommendations it made regarding DoD over 2014-2017 remain open, with 41 percent implemented and the rest closed by GAO as not implemented.
The percentages were lower among the 68 recommendations that GAO designated as high priority, though, with 71 percent open, 26 percent implemented and the rest closed, according to a report to the congressional Armed Services Committees. The report was required by the 2018 defense budget, part of the increasing attention paid by Congress to the status of reports by GAO and agency IGs.
GAO said that the results track the natural expectation that carrying out recommendations takes time, showing that the newer the recommendation, the less likely it is to have been implemented.
It credited DoD’s Washington Headquarters Service, the primary point of contact for follow-up, for taking steps to encourage and help defense components close recommendations by requiring detailed corrective action plans, establishing senior leadership reviews on the status, and requiring offices to include in their responses points of contact responsible for implementing recommendations.
It said that WHS plans to make additional improvements including steps to better ensure that DoD’s responses address the intent of GAO’s recommendations, inviting GAO to have a representative attend future senior leadership reviews, and initiate followup meetings to address to address recommendations on which GAO and DoD differ on the status.