GAO's 2015 High-Risk Series: An Update, Statement of Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States, Testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 877KB]

"The federal government is one of the world's largest and most complex entities; about $3.5 trillion in outlays in fiscal year 2014 funded a broad array of programs and operations. GAO [Government Accountability Office] maintains a program to focus attention on government operations that it identifies as high risk due to their greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement or the need for transformation to address economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges. Since 1990, more than one-third of the areas previously designated as high risk have been removed from the list because sufficient progress was made in addressing the problems identified. The five criteria for removal are: (1) leadership commitment, (2) agency capacity, (3) an action plan, (4) monitoring efforts, and (5) demonstrated progress. This biennial update describes the status of high-risk areas listed in 2013 and identifies new high-risk areas needing attention by Congress and the executive branch. Solutions to high-risk problems offer the potential to save billions of dollars, improve service to the public, and strengthen government performance and accountability."

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