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Every two years with the arrival of a new Congress, GAO issues updates to our High Risk List--highlighting some areas of government that are particularly at risk of waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement or in need of broad based transformation. We talk with GAO's Chris Mihm--an expert on government operations and the managing director of our Strategic…
 
The IRS processes more than 150 million individual and business tax returns each year. While the IRS has modernized its process to allow for electronic filings, several key functions remain paper-based, including about 40 percent of business-related tax forms. In addition, during the 2020 filing season, the IRS faced a number of challenges providin…
 
The U.S. has put a lot of its hope for combating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic behind two vaccines developed in record time--one year instead of the more typical 5-10 years. But how safe are these vaccines and how is safety determined? We talk with GAO expert Karen Howard to find out more.Government Accountability Office による
 
Policymakers and advocacy groups have raised concerns about the treatment of pregnant women in custody, including the use of restraints, and so-called solitary confinement. There are also concerns that pregnant women in custody lack access to things like prenatal care and maternal nutrition. We talk with GAO's Gretta Goodwin to find out more.…
 
This year, GAO celebrates its 100th anniversary. To commemorate our centennial, we are recording a series of podcasts about our history as an agency, and our contributions to public policy and program oversight. Today, we talk with three GAO experts with portfolios of work on racial disparities and diversity issues in health care, the economy, and …
 
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) collects data from employers about injuries and illness in order to provide oversight of industries, as well as to improve safety policies for workers. However, OSHA officials told GAO that a high number of employers may not have reported this data in 2019. We talk with GAO's Tom Costa to fin…
 
In May, the federal government announced plans for Operation Warp Speed--a partnership between the government and private pharmaceutical companies to quickly develop and distribute vaccines. And while vaccines were developed in record time, there are some concerns about manufacturing challenges and the public perceptions of vaccines. We talk with G…
 
The Department of Veteran Affairs owns and operates 134 nursing home style facilities called Community Living Centers where disabled and aging veterans can receive short and long term care services. However, several news stories have prompted questions about how the VA is monitoring and controlling the spread of infectious diseases at these facilit…
 
While the Department of Veterans Affairs operates one of the largest healthcare systems in the country, it also allows veterans to receive care through community providers when they face challenges accessing care at VA facilities. However, the VA's oversight has some gaps that could potentially allow unqualified providers to deliver this care. We t…
 
U.S. COVID-related infections and deaths set alarming records in January, which further drew attention to delays in coronavirus-vaccine efforts and a need for better planning to address this evolving public health and economic crisis. Here at GAO, we've been monitoring and reviewing the federal response to COVID-19, and are issuing bimonthly report…
 
Rural hospitals are closing at an alarming rate, which had had a significant impact on residents' ability to access health care services. Closures may have broader implications for communities facing COVID-19's impacts. We talk with GAO's Greg Giusto to learn more.Government Accountability Office による
 
The financial exploitation of seniors is a growing problem in the U.S. and is expected to continue to grow as the population of older Americans also increases. The Department of Health and Human Services has created a national database for reporting elder abuse with the goal of improving preventions, interventions, and services for exploited senior…
 
The Department of Defense spends billions of dollars every year developing high-tech weapons to maintain our battlefield superiority. Sometimes, we sell these weapons to our allies overseas in an effort to support U.S. national security, foreign policy, or economic interests. However, these high-tech weapons can become the targets of theft, espiona…
 
Transportation—whether it's planes, trains, boats or cars—is becoming more automated. While automated technology holds promise—such as improving your ability to parallel park—recent accidents caused by automated technology have demonstrated its potential safety challenges. Wow is this technology being monitored to ensure it is safe? We talk to GAO'…
 
As the number of older Americans increases, so does the need for long term health services and supports. Medicaid is the nation's primary payer for long-term care. And because of how expensive it is to provide this care, more and more states are moving to managed care delivery models. But there are concerns about access to and the quality of care p…
 
NASA has plans to return American astronauts to the Moon by the end of 2024, However, the success of these plans depend on two upcoming test flights. GAO reviewed NASA's progress towards that first test flight, as well as, the cost of efforts and the likelihood NASA will meet its 2024 deadline. We talk with GAO's Bill Russell, an expert on NASA pro…
 
The federal government relies heavily on information and communication technology products and services to carry out day-to-day operations. This dependency has increased the complexity, diversity, and scale of the government supply chains--that is, the public and private partnerships that make, implement, or use communication technology solutions. …
 
Rising college costs have outpaced federal grant aid, leading to concerns that a greater burden of costs are being borne by students and their families. This can also contribute to concerns about student loan debt. To help families save for college, some states, cities, and nonprofit organizations created savings or investment programs, often refer…
 
The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies critical for communications, navigation, and more. This information could be simple things we use every day, like GPS devises. However, the Department of Defense is using it for serious things--like national defense and controlling military equipment and operation. We talk with GAO's Joe Kirs…
 
Because of COVID-19, U.S. passenger air carriers are in dire economic straits in need assistance to prevent layoffs and other impacts to their employees, as well as significant impacts to travelers if there are reduced services. The CARES Act relief package authorizes the Department of Treasury to make us to $46 billion in loans or loan guarantees …
 
This year's wildfires on the West Coast--as well as those during previous years--have raised concerns about air quality, especially as these disasters grow in scale and number. Despite this, national data show that the U.S. has made significant progress in reducing air pollution levels since the 1970s. But how do we know that air quality is actuall…
 
Early screening and detection for cancer can improve patients' outcomes and, ultimately, save lives. The CDC's Early Detection Program provides screenings to those enrolled in Medicaid. However, the number of people screened under this program has declined significantly in recent years. We talk to John Dicken, an expert on health care policy, and a…
 
COVID-19 cases began to increase again in mid-September, further highlighting the federal government's role in responding to the pandemic's continuing and devastating impacts on public health and the economy. Here at GAO, we've been monitoring and reviewing the federal response to COVID-19. We discuss our latest report--which looks at COVID testing…
 
If you've ever applied for a loan, you know that banks and credit unions collect a lot of personal financial information, like on your income and credit history. And it's not uncommon for customers--after applying or getting a loan--to receive advertisements in the mail for products from other vendors. While collecting this information is important…
 
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is a small agency of about 500 full-time employees tasked with protecting U.S. shoppers from product hazards that could cause injury or even death. We talk with GAO's Alicia Puente Cackley--an expert on consumer protection issues and a director in our Financial Markets and Community Investment Team--about a ne…
 
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