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GAO’s Open Recommendations to the Pentagon

The following is an August list of the Government Accountability Office’s open priority recommendations to the Pentagon.

From the report

In November 2020, we reported that federal agencies government-wide had implemented 77 percent of our recommendations made in fiscal year 2016. As of July 29, 2021, DOD had implemented 65 percent of our recommendations from fiscal year 2016; 66 recommendations from that fiscal year remain open. Additionally, as of July 29, 2021, DOD had 1,001 recommendations that remained open from other fiscal years, bringing the total number of open recommendations to 1,067. Of these recommendations, 83 were made prior to fiscal year 2016—the year used to calculate DOD’s implementation rate. We examined the recommendations in this category carefully to ensure that they remain relevant. We closed those recommendations that were obsolete or would no longer substantially improve DOD’s operations. For all other recommendations, we continue to encourage DOD to implement them, as doing so could result in key improvements in the department’s operations.

In our May 4, 2020 letter, we identified 81 priority open recommendations. We have since removed 26 of these recommendations from our priority recommendations letter. DOD implemented 21 of them to address issues pertaining to F-35 sustainment, Navy shipyard operations, contracted services, science and technology, cybersecurity, readiness rebuilding efforts, and financial management and improper payments, thereby enabling DOD to better achieve its mission.

Additionally, as discussed below, we determined that four recommendations related to DOD enterprise-wide business reform were no longer relevant and closed them. Finally, we determined that one open recommendation related to acquisition oversight no longer warranted priority attention because of actions taken by the military departments to pilot approaches for streamlining the milestone decision process.

We ask for your attention to the remaining 55 open priority recommendations identified in the 2020 letter. We are also adding 26 new priority recommendations related to the F-35 program, cybersecurity and the information environment, defense management, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, bringing the total to 81. These 81 recommendations fall into seven areas addressed in last year’s letter (acquisitions and contract management; rebuilding readiness and force structure; financial management; cybersecurity and the information environment; health care; driving enterprise-wide business reform; and preventing sexual harassment), as well as a new area we have added pertaining to DOD’s efforts to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion within the department.

Download the document here.