Government Accountability Office

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

America's Nuke Program Runs on Floppy Disks

And not even the tiny ones

(Newser) - To anyone born after 1995, the floppy disk is better known as that thing that resembles the "save" icon. To the Pentagon, it's the gizmo that controls America's nukes. A report from the Government Accountability Office finds US government agencies spend $60 billion a year operating and... More »

Report: Hackers Could Use Plane WiFi to Hijack Controls

FAA says it is working with experts on necessary changes

(Newser) - That in-flight WiFi we've all become so fond of could be breached by hackers to take control of the plane, according to a worrying GAO report out yesterday. Passengers, or even people on the ground, could break down firewalls guarding communications and navigation systems, Reuters reports, meaning a hacker... More »

US Blew Millions Shipping Military Trucks: Report

GAO report suggests it would have been cheaper to just blow them up

(Newser) - It would've been more financially prudent to blow up now-useless US military vehicles used in Afghanistan instead of what the Pentagon actually did: ship them back home. A GAO report released yesterday and cited in USA Today says that from October 2012 to October 2013, the Army and Marines... More »

Student Debt Driving Elderly Into Poverty

Number with benefits cut to repay loans soars

(Newser) - A soaring number of Americans are facing an old age of poverty because they are still saddled with student debt, according to a Government Accountability Office report released yesterday. The government has the power to slash Social Security or disability benefits to pay off federal student loans, and the number... More »

Watchdog: Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Was Illegal

Congress should have been told, GAO says

(Newser) - The Obama administration's release of five Taliban prisoners in exchange for captive soldier Bowe Bergdahl was illegal in more ways than one, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The government watchdog says the decision violated federal law because Congress wasn't given 30 days' notice of the transfer... More »

Pentagon to Destroy $1.2B in Ammunition

Outdated systems causing huge amounts of waste

(Newser) - Ammunition worth $1.2 billion, much of it still usable, is going to go up in smoke because the Pentagon is using antiquated inventory systems and different service branches can't share data effectively, a Government Accountability Office report says. Despite decades of trying to develop a single database, only... More »

TSA's $1B SPOT Program as Effective as Flipping a Coin

Screening 'the same as or slightly better than chance'

(Newser) - Nearly $1 billion spent on a TSA behavioral screening program may have been better spent in Vegas. Started in 2007 at a cost of $200 million a year, the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program trains officers to scan crowded airports for suspicious-looking people. There's just one... More »

Our Prisons Could Safely Hold Every Gitmo Detainee

Facilities have room, necessary security: report

(Newser) - US prisons are capable of taking on all 166 Guantanamo Bay detainees, thereby allowing the US to close the facility, a report finds. "This report demonstrates that if the political will exists, we could finally close Guantanamo without imperiling our national security," says Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who commissioned... More »

Debt Limit Debacle's Tab: $1.3B

Treasury maneuvering cost taxpayers dearly

(Newser) - Last summer's debt ceiling showdown cost taxpayers at least $1.3 billion in increased borrowing costs, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released yesterday. Legislators' game of brinkmanship spooked investors, driving up the cost of government borrowing. It also forced the Treasury to perform some financial gymnastics,... More »

RNC: Obama Fraudulently Using Air Force One

It claims his recent travel has been for campaign purposes

(Newser) - Republicans think Barack Obama's trips on Air Force One amount to nothing less than fraud. RNC Chair Reince Priebus has sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office asking it to investigate Obama's recent travel, alleging that the events he's traveling to have been "widely reported... More »

Watchdog: Airport Errors Soaring

Runway 'incursions,' planes flying too close on the rise

(Newser) - The number of reported air traffic controller errors has jumped, along with the number of unauthorized planes, people, or vehicles on runways, according to a government report released yesterday. Incidents of planes flying too close to one another have nearly doubled in the last three years due to controller mistakes... More »

US Can't Trace Sold Nuclear Material

Government Accountability Office is concerned

(Newser) - For all the Obama administration’s talk of securing nuclear stockpiles, the US has no ability to track 5,900 pounds of “weapons usable” nuclear material that it has sold to foreign governments over the years, according to a little-noticed Government Accountability Office report last week picked up by... More »

Homeland Security Blowing $300M on Sketchy Scanners

Department skipped a mandatory test on ASP device, GAO complains

(Newser) - Homeland Security plans to buy 400 new radiation detection machines, even though it’s skipped its own internal requirements to test them first, the Government Accountability Office complained in a report today. These Advanced Spectroscopic Portal machines have a checkered past, the Washington Post reports: In January, the National Academy... More »

Congress: US Wasting Billions in War on Drugs

Pair of reports blast counter-narcotics spending in Latin America

(Newser) - The Obama administration has essentially no evidence that the billions spent combating the drug trade in Latin America have done anything to stem the flow of narcotics into the US, according to a pair of scathing new congressional reports. “We are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a... More »

Time to Get Rid of Paper Dollars: GAO

Move would save government $184M a year

(Newser) - It's time to kiss your dollar bills goodbye—or at least, it should be, as far as the Government Accountability Office is concerned. The GAO has once again called on Congress, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury to yank paper dollars out of circulation and replace them with dollar coins,... More »

Almost 10% of Medicare Payments Improper

But it's hard to tell how much of that is fraud

(Newser) - The federal government lost around $48 billion to fraudulent and improper Medicare claims last year—which made up nearly 10% of all payments the program doled out, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. And even that figure might be on the low side, because it doesn’... More »

Feds Often Have 75 Programs Doing One Thing: Review

GAO recommends combining some

(Newser) - The government is positively brimming with overlapping programs and offices, potentially producing billions in waste, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. There are, for example, 82 federal programs for improving teacher quality, 80 for helping poor people with their transportation needs, 47 for job training... More »

Discharging Gays Cost Pentagon $193M

Each discharged service member cost $53K to replace

(Newser) - Recruiting and training replacements for gay service members discharged under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy cost the Pentagon a whopping $193 million from 2004 to 2009, according to the Government Accountability Office. The analysis found that 1,442 of the 3,664 service members dismissed for being... More »

Sex Offenders Able to Land Jobs at Schools

Criminals slip by background checks

(Newser) - A number of people with histories of sexual misconduct have had little trouble getting new jobs in schools, despite a system of background checks intended to prevent exactly that, the Government Accountability Office reported yesterday. In 11 of the 15 cases federal investigators looked into, people who had previously targeted... More »

Swine Flu-Wary Telecommuters Could Floor Internet

Report finds surge in demand might make telecommuting unfeasible

(Newser) - Telecommuters hunkering down at home because of swine flu could overwhelm Internet networks in the coming weeks, a federal watchdog reports. The report earlier this week found that no guidelines are in place to deal with any surge in demand caused by a spike in workers telecommuting and students going... More »

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>