Management

High-risk list adds 3 agencies, scratches 1

The roster of government programs at risk of waste and mismanagement grew to a total of 30 in the latest update from the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ watchdog agency.

Programs to regulate U.S. financial institutions, the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of medical products and the Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment and control of toxic chemicals were new entrants on the high-risk list.

Agencies have made inconsistent progress in improving existing programs on the list, said Gene Dodaro, GAO’s acting comptroller. The published list provides a road map and incentive for agencies to rehabilitate risky programs. GAO will review agencies’ latest plans to correct program problems and work with new Cabinet officials on how to prioritize management issues.

“I think we’re going to be taking stock and redoubling our efforts going forward,” Dodaro said.

The Defense Department continued to dominate the high-risk list with programs related to its business transformation and contract management, he said.

The Homeland Security Department has made more progress in implementing mission activities than in integrating its management functions and determining how to measure progress in its transformation, Dodaro said.

GAO removed the Federal Aviation Administration’s air traffic control modernization program from the high-risk list because it had made significant improvements. The program now has stronger management capabilities, an enterprise architecture, and a cost estimating and accounting approach. FAA has also established an investment management process, and evaluated its critical staff shortages and developed plans to correct them.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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