Recent GAO reports

From the Government Accountability Office (GAO):

HIGHWAY PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS: More Rigorous Up-front Analysis Could Better Secure Potential Benefits and Protect the Public Interest, GAO-08-44 (pdf, 96pp/1.24 MB), Feb. 8, 2008
Highway public-private partnerships show promise as a viable alternative, where appropriate, to help meet growing and costly transportation demands. The public sector can acquire new infrastructure or extract value from existing infrastructure while potentially sharing with the private sector the risks associated with designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining public infrastructure. However, highway public-private partnerships are not a panacea for meeting all transportation system demands, nor are they without potentially substantial costs and risks to the public--both financial and nonfinancial--and trade-offs must be made.....There is no "free" money in highway public-private partnerships.

HEAD START: A More Comprehensive Risk Management Strategy and Data Improvements Could Further Strengthen Program Oversight, GAO-08-221 (pdf, 41pp/632kB), Feb. 12, 2008

This report focuses on the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) oversight of the Head Start program in which 1,600 local organizations receive $7 billion in grants from ACF. GAO recommends that ACF establish better criteria to spot underperforming grantees, to improve the reliability of its data, and to reduce improper payments.

HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: HHS Is Pursuing Efforts to Advance Nationwide Implementation, but Has Not Yet Completed a National Strategy, GAO-08-499T (pdf, 17pp/228kB), Feb. 14, 2008

In 2004 Pres. Bush established the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) with HHS. The key areas of national health IT activities are electronic health records, standardization, networking and information exchange, and health information privacy and security.

STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE: Options to Improve the Cost-Effectiveness of Filling the Reserve, GAO-08-521T (pdf, 15pp/216kB), Feb. 26, 2008

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was established in 1975. The SPR currently has almost 700 million barrels of crude oil, about 56 days of oil imports, in Texas and Louisiana. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, P.L. 109-58 (pdf, 551pp.), authorized the Department of Energy (DOE) to increase the SPR to 1 billion barrels by 2018. GAO recommends that DOE consider flexible, cost-effective ways when making fill decisions.

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