Tags: obama | gao | priorities

GAO Gives Obama List of 'Urgent Issues'

Friday, 07 Nov 2008 11:37 AM

By Dave Eberhart

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Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro has released a list of 13 urgent issues the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified as needing the urgent attention of President-elect Barack Obama and the Congress.

The novel GAO list and centerpiece of the watchdog agency’s new project transition Web site lists “Caring for Service Members” first in its alphabetized inventory.

“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,” Dodaro said.

Other urgent issues the GAO lists for the new president and Congress:

  • Defense readiness.

  • Defense spending.

  • Food safety.

  • Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

  • Overseeing Financial institutions and markets.

  • Preparing for large-scale health emergencies.

  • Protecting the country.

  • Public diplomacy and international broadcasting.

  • Retiring 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 issues: Each agency faces a range of distinctive major. In this section, the GAO summarizes its work at 28 federal agencies. It allows new appointees to review GAO findings and recommendations for their particular agencies.

    Cost-cutting possibilities: A number of opportunities exist to limit costs and reduce waste, as well as increase collection of revenues already due the government. GAO discusses about 50 such opportunities.

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

    Long-term fiscal outlook: This describes the federal government's long-term fiscal challenges.

    Upcoming GAO reports on major issues: GAO focuses on a wide range of key federal policies and programs.

    “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.

    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.

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