"This report contains GAO's views on what remains to be done to bring about lasting solutions for each high-risk area. Perseverance by the executive branch in implementing GAO's recommended solutions and continued oversight and action by Congress are both essential to achieving progress. [...] The federal government is the world's largest and most complex entity, with about $3 trillion in outlays in fiscal year 2008 funding a broad array of programs and operations. GAO's biennial reports on high-risk areas, done since 1990, are meant to bring focus to specific areas needing added attention. Areas are identified, in some cases, as high risk due to their greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. GAO also identifies high-risk areas needing broad-based transformation to address major economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges. In this 2009 update for the 111th Congress, GAO presents the status of high-risk areas listed in 2007 and identifies new high-risk areas warranting attention by Congress and the executive branch. Solutions to high-risk problems offer the potential to save billions of dollars, dramatically improve service to the public, strengthen confidence and trust in the performance and accountability of the U.S. government, and ensure the ability of government to deliver on its promises."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/