Recent GAO reports

From the Government Accountability Office (GAO):

LOBBYING DISCLOSURE: Observations on Lobbyists' Compliance with New Disclosure Requirements, GAO-08-1099 (pdf, 37pp/1.5MB), Sept. 30, 2008

This is GAO's first annual report on the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) of 2007, P.L. 110-81 (pdf, 42pp.), which requires GAO to report on (1) lobbyists' compliance with the Act with supporting documents, (2) challenges to complying with the Act, and (3) the process for referring cases to the Dept. of Justice and other means to enforce the Act.

ELECTIONS: States, Territories, and the District Are Taking a Range of Important Steps to Manage Their Varied Voting System Environments, GAO-08-874 (pdf, 129pp/1.98MB), Sept. 25, 2008

For this study GAO was asked to answer the following questions: (1) what voting methods and systems are jurisdictions using in federal elections and what changes are underway; (2) how do they certify or otherwise approve voting systems; (3) what other steps do they take to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and security of voting systems; (4) how do they identify, evaluate, and respond to voting system problems; and (5) how do they view federal voting system-related resources and services.

WILDLIFE REFUGES: Changes in Funding, Staffing, and Other Factors Create Concerns about Future Sustainability, GAO-08-797 (pdf, 131pp/3.2MB), Sept. 22, 2008

The National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) comprises 548 wildlife refuges and 37 wetland management districts. (Hawaii has 18 wildlife refuges.) GAO's study covers funding, staffing, policy initiatives, external factors (extreme weather, adjacent development), habitat management, and visitor services in FY 2002-2007.

PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION: Improvements Needed to Address Financial and Management Challenges, GAO-08-1162T (pdf, 29pp/504kB), Sept. 24, 2008

PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION: Need for Improved Oversight Persists, GAO-08-1062 (pdf, 34pp/964kB), Sept. 10, 2008

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures the pensions of nearly 44 million private-sector workers and retirees. The Sept. 24 testimony covers (1) PBGC's role in protecting pension benefits and how it is funded, (2) the financial challenges facing PBGC, and (3) PBGC's governance, oversight and management challenges. It focuses on the single-employer pension insurance program. The Sept. 10 study covers (1) the steps PBGC has taken to improve policy direction and oversight, and (2) Congressional and other governmental oversight.

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT: Measuring Program's Effectiveness Continues to Be a Challenge, GAO-08-1045 (pdf, 59pp/1.18MB), Sept. 12, 2008

Coastal zone management is administered by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), that provides grants to participating states under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). There are 34 state programs (including territories and commonwealths). GAO reported on (1) NOAA's methodology for awarding CZMA grants, (2) how NOAA ensures that grant activities comply with the CZMA, and (3) how NOAA measures the effectiveness of state programs. There are tables for each of the grant types: coastal zone management, coastal zone enhancement, and coastal nonpoint pollution control. Allocations for the 3 types of grants for Hawaii in FY 2008 were $1.8 million, $174,000, and $42,000, respectively.

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