Government Management--Report on 17 High-Risk Areas

Gao ID: T-OCG-93-2 January 8, 1993

Many GAO audit reports have spotlighted the effect of management failures in the federal government--waste, inefficiency, and even scandal. Political leaders have been forced to spend too much time reacting to surprises like the Department of Housing and Urban Development debacle rather than doing the work the agencies were created to do. GAO began its high-risk program to identify those high-dollar government programs most vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. This testimony summarizes the high-risk series of reports, which examine the federal government's efforts to identify and correct problems in 17 especially vulnerable areas, fall into three main categories: lending and insuring, contracting, and accountability. Many of the root causes of the problems afflicting these government programs are traceable to the absence of fundamental processes and systems. GAO urges that future congressional oversight focus on the agency reports and audited financial statements required by the Chief Financial Officers Act, agency management's progress in correcting material weaknesses in program internal control and accounting systems, and federal agency efforts to develop and implement performance standards.

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