Broken Government

Published — January 22, 2009 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

The GAO adds to government’s to-do list


The federal government’s to-do list just got a little longer. Congress’s investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, today released its biennial list of the federal government’s most pressing problems — most of which can be found on the Center’s recent Broken Government project (along with much, much more).

The GAO added three new items to its “High-Risk” List: the need for stronger oversight of the financial sector and of medical products, and improvements in the Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment of toxic chemical risk.

The GAO dropped one, as well. Drum roll . . . The Federal Aviation Administration’s efforts to modernize its air traffic control system actually showed enough progress to be cut from the list. It only took 14 years to cross that one off.

With the three new additions, there are currently 30 items on the list, which began in 1990. Twelve of the 30 items were first designated high-risk in the 1990s. The list grew substantially under the Bush administration, though it is not clear whether this is due in part to widening identification of problems by the GAO or of actual growth in the number of problems.

Read more in Money and Democracy

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