September 27, 2023

What GAO Found

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) received 13 priority recommendations from GAO in June 2022. Since then, the USDA has carried out six of those suggestions, among other things by improving the Food and Nutrition Service’s monitoring of federal funding it has granted to nonfederal organizations via the development of rules and procedures.

GAO found five more priority recommendations for the USDA in May 2023, increasing the total to 12. The following topics are covered by these recommendations:

  • reducing improper payments;
  • improving USDA’s oversight of federal assistance programs;
  • improving IT and cybersecurity; and
  • managing federal fiscal exposure to climate risks.

USDA’s continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

The GAO’s priority open recommendations are those that need special attention from the heads of important departments or agencies because implementing them could result in significant financial savings, better congressional or executive branch decision-making on important issues, the elimination of waste, fraud, and abuse, or other advantages like ensuring that programs adhere to the law and that funds are used lawfully. GAO has been writing to specific agencies since 2015 to emphasize the significance of carrying out such recommendations.



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