Accession Number:



High-Risk Series: Key Actions to Make Progress Addressing High-Risk Issues

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[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

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GAO maintains a high-risk program to focus attention on government operations that it identifies as high risk due to their greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement or the need for transformation to address economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges. Our latest High Risk Update, issued in February 2015,1 provides details on progress made and efforts needed to address 32 high-risk areas according to our five criteria for removal from the list which we published in November 2000 1 leadership commitment, 2 capacity, 3 action plan, 4 monitoring, and 5 demonstrated progress.2 Our next update to the High Risk List is scheduled for issuance in early 2017. In the interim, you requested that we provide information from our 2015 report on how agencies had made progress addressing high-risk issues. The attached enclosures provide illustrative actions that agencies took that led to progress or removal from our High Risk List. This information could provide guidance to agencies whose programs are on the High Risk List. Additionally, at the end of each enclosure, we provide an illustrative example from our 2015 report of selected areas where progress was not made against criteria and what more needed to be done to demonstrate progress. Additional progress is both possible and needed in all 32 high-risk areas. Lasting solutions to the federal governments high-risk problems offer the potential to save billions of dollars, dramatically improve service to the American public, strengthen public confidence and trust in the performance and accountability of the national government, and ensure the ability of government to deliver on its promises. Since 1990, more than one-third of the areas GAO previously designated as high risk have been removed from the list because sufficient progress was made in addressing the problems identified.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Administration and Management

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]