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Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Testimony. Wednesday, June 18, 2008.
...Concerns have been raised about the privacy and security of personal information in light of advances in information technology and the increasingly sophisticated ways in which the government obtains and uses information. Federal agencies' use of personal information is governed by the Privacy Act of 1974 and the E-Government Act of 2002, while the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provides implementation guidance and oversight. These laws and guidance are based on the Fair Information Practices, a set of widely accepted principles for protecting privacy. GAO was asked to testify on its report, being released today, concerning the sufficiency of privacy protections afforded by existing laws and guidance. To do this, GAO analyzed privacy laws and guidance, compared them with the Fair Information Practices, and obtained perspectives from federal agencies as well as an expert forum. More Information
Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Other Written Product. Tuesday, June 17, 2008.
...For the past 11 years, since GAO's first audit of the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government (CFS), certain material weaknesses in internal control and in selected accounting and financial reporting practices have prevented GAO from expressing an opinion on the CFS. GAO has consistently reported that the U.S. government did not have adequate systems, controls, and procedures to properly prepare the CFS. GAO's December 2007 disclaimer of opinion on the fiscal year 2007 accrual basis consolidated financial statements included a discussion of continuing control deficiencies related to the preparation of the CFS. The purpose of this report is to (1) provide details of continuing material weaknesses, (2) recommend improvements, and (3) provide the status of corrective actions taken to address GAO's previous 81 recommendations related to the preparation of the CFS. More Information
Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Testimony. Tuesday, June 17, 2008.
...U.S. government efforts to protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights domestically and overseas are crucial to preventing billions of dollars in losses to U.S. industry and IP rights owners. The illegal importation and distribution of IP-infringing goods also poses a threat to the health and safety of U.S. citizens. However, the challenges involved in IP protection are significant and require effective coordination among a wide range of policy and law enforcement agencies. Multiple agencies work to protect IP rights, and they coordinate their efforts through certain coordination bodies as well as an executive- branch strategy called the Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP). This testimony addresses two topics: the need for (1) greater leadership and permanence in the national IP enforcement strategy and coordination structure; and (2) improvement in key agencies' criminal IP enforcement data collection and analysis. It is based on prior GAO work conducted from 2003 to 2008. More Information
Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Testimony. Thursday, June 12, 2008.
...Since 1995, when the Compact of Free Association between Palau and the United States entered into force, U.S. aid to Palau has included assistance provided for in the compact and related subsidiary agreements--direct assistance to the Palau national government, including investment in a trust fund intended to provide $15 million annually from 2010 through 2044; federal postal, weather, and aviation services; and construction of a major road--with the U.S. interest of promoting Palau's self-sufficiency and economic advancement. U.S. assistance to Palau has also included discretionary federal programs, such as health, education, and infrastructure services, that are not provided for in the compact. Compact direct assistance is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2009. In addition, the related subsidiary agreement providing for federal services to Palau will expire on that date unless renewed or extended. At that time, Palau's annual withdrawals from its trust fund can increase from $5 million to $15 million. The compact mandates that the U.S. and Palau governments review the terms of the compact and its related agreements in 2009 and concur on any modifications to those terms. The Department of the Interior's (Interior) Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has primary responsibility for monitoring and coordinating all U.S. assistance to Palau, and the Department of State (State) is responsible for government-to-government relations. To provide accountability for compact funds, the compact's related agreements require an annual audit of Palau's use of compact funds and require Palau to submit economic development plans, identifying planned expenditures of compact assistance, and annual reports on, among other topics, its implementation of these plans. The U.S. and Palau governments are also required to hold annual economic consultations to review Palau's progress toward self-sufficiency and to consult regarding Palau's trust fund every 5 years. My statement is based on our report, which was released this week. In this report, we examined (1) the provision of compact and other U.S. assistance to Palau in 1995-2009, (2) Palau's and U.S. agencies' efforts to provide accountability over Palau's use of federal funds, and (3) Palau's prospects for achieving economic self-sufficiency. We conducted this performance audit from October 2007 to June 2008 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. More Information
Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Testimony. Thursday, June 12, 2008.
...The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of roughly 80 percent of the U.S. food supply, including $417 billion worth of domestic food and $49 billion in imported food annually. Changing demographics and consumption patterns along with an increase in imports have presented challenges to FDA. At the same time, recent outbreaks, such as E. coli from spinach and Salmonella from tomatoes, have undermined consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply. In November 2007, FDA released its Food Protection Plan, which articulates a framework for improving food safety oversight. In January 2008, GAO expressed concerns about FDA's capacity to implement the Food Protection Plan and noted that more specific information about the strategies and resources needed to implement the plan would facilitate congressional oversight. This testimony focuses on (1) FDA's progress in implementing the Food Protection Plan, (2) FDA's proposal to focus inspections based on risk, and (3) FDA's implementation of previously issued GAO recommendations intended to improve food safety oversight. To address these issues, GAO reviewed FDA documents, such as FDA's operations plan, and FDA data related to the plan. GAO also interviewed FDA officials regarding the progress made. GAO also analyzed FDA data on domestic and foreign food firm inspections. GAO also analyzed the status of past recommendations. More Information
Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Comptroller General Decision. Thursday, June 5, 2008.
...1. Evaluation of protester's technical proposal was unobjectionable where agency reasonably found weaknesses associated with firm's timeliness of performance because of minor schedule delays in connection with some prior contracts; corporate experience, based on limited information regarding task orders; and management approach, based on questions regarding organizational structure and limited job order contract experience of key personnel.

2. Agency reasonably evaluated awardee's past performance as very good notwithstanding some poor rating responses in limited areas of two Construction Contractor Appraisal Support System (CCASS) reports, where firm's rating was otherwise based on 5 past performance questionnaires and 11 other CCASS reports, all of which contained a significant majority of excellent, outstanding, and above average ratings. More Information

Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Testimony. Tuesday, June 3, 2008.
...Since 1990, GAO has designated the Department of Defense's (DOD) management of major weapon system acquisitions a high risk area. DOD has taken some action to improve acquisition outcomes, but its weapon programs continue to take longer, cost more, and deliver fewer capabilities than originally planned. These persistent problems--coupled with current operational demands--have impelled DOD to work outside of its traditional acquisition process to acquire equipment that meet urgent warfighter needs. Poor outcomes in DOD's weapon system programs reverberate across the entire federal government. Over the next 5 years, DOD plans to invest about $900 billion to develop and procure weapon systems--the highest level of investment in two decades. Every dollar wasted on acquiring weapon systems is less money available for other priorities. This testimony describes DOD's current weapon system investment portfolio, the problems that contribute to cost and schedule increases, and the potential impacts of recent legislative initiatives and DOD actions aimed at improving outcomes. It also provides some observations about what is needed for DOD to achieve lasting reform. The testimony is drawn from GAO's body of work on DOD's acquisition, requirements, and funding processes, as well as its most recent annual assessment of selected DOD weapon programs. More Information
Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Other Written Product. Friday, May 30, 2008.
...Military operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism, particularly those in Iraq and Afghanistan, have challenged the Department of Defense's (DOD) ability to provide needed ground forces. Section 354 of the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act directed GAO to report on a number of military readiness issues. In this report, GAO addresses (1) the extent to which DOD's use of nonstandard forces to meet ground force requirements has impacted the force and (2) the extent to which DOD has faced challenges in managing the training and use of these forces, and taken steps to address any challenges. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed DOD policies, guidance, and data and interviewed department, joint, combatant command, and service officials as well as trainers and over 300 deploying, deployed, and redeploying servicemembers. More Information
Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Correspondence. Friday, May 30, 2008.
...This letter formally transmits the attached briefing in response to section 957(a) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 and the accompanying conference report. The act required the Comptroller General to conduct an assessment of the most recent reorganization of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. More Information
Government Accountability Office Reports and Comptroller General Decisions. Comptroller General Decision. Friday, May 23, 2008.
...Protester's contention that the agency failed to apply the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) price evaluation preference is denied where the solicitation did not include the HUBZone price evaluation preference; to the extent the protester argues that the preference should have been included in the solicitation, the protest is untimely as the protester did not challenge the terms of the solicitation until after the agency made an award. More Information

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