WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, highlighted the encouraging findings from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that shows how agencies have made progress in addressing the vulnerabilities or challenges that put them on the High Risk List originally. The report released today provides specific examples of actions taken by particular agencies that met at least one of the five criteria for removal from GAO’s High Risk List, which can also serve as guidance for other agencies whose programs remain on the High Risk List.
“The High Risk List is about solving problems and today’s report confirms that the management challenges agencies struggle with can be overcome, and troubled programs can be made to work better,” said Senator Carper. “I’ve long-considered the High Risk List to be Congress’ ‘to-do’ list. It helps us find bipartisan solutions to problems by identifying potential sources of waste, fraud, and inefficiency. This latest report shows that we can make progress in addressing these high-risk issues, and I’m encouraged by the good work being done by the agencies it highlights to tackle the challenges they face. It’s not quick or glamorous work, but the agencies GAO examined are helping to save taxpayer dollars and ensure that we get better results for the people they serve. While much work remains to be done, I’m hopeful that these examples can help other agencies still on the High Risk List figure out what works so that they can do more of it in their own programs.”
GAO’s High Risk List identifies government agencies and programs deemed “high-risk” due to vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse or need for serious reforms. An updated list is released every two years at the start of a new Congress.
Next month, Senator Carper will host a roundtable discussion with some of the agencies highlighted in this latest report, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to discuss progress each have made to their own programs. The work done by these agencies could provide a roadmap for others looking to improve performance and meet the criteria for removal from the High Risk List as well.