Recent GAO reports

From the Government Accountability Office (GAO):

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION: Greater Attention Is Needed to Enhance Communication and Utilization of Resources in the Division of Enforcement, GAO-09-613T (pdf, 14pp/164kB), May 7, 2009

This testimony on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Enforcement (Enforcement) is based on GAO's earlier report (pdf, 64pp/1.1MB) of the same title, issued March 31, 2009. The testimony focuses on (1) the extent to which Enforcement has an appropriate mix of resources; (2) considerations affecting penalty determinations, and recent trends in penalties and disgorgements ordered; and (3) the adoption, implementation, and effects of recent penalty policies.

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM: Significant Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Widely Used Capabilities,
      Report (pdf, 61pp/1.4MB), April 30, 2009
      Testimony (pdf, 15pp/196kB), May 7, 2009

The U.S. provides free Global Positioning System (GPS) data and service, the Dept. of Defense (DOD) develops and operates GPS, and the Air Force, which is responsible for GPS acquisition, is in the process of modernizing GPS. In both the report and testimony, GAO expressed concern as to the Air Force's timely acquisition of next-generation GPS satellites. GAO assessed progress in (1) acquiring GPS satellites, (2) acquiring the ground control and user equipment necessary to leverage GPS satellite capabilities, and evaluated (3) coordination among federal agencies and other organizations to ensure GPS missions can be accomplished.

FINANCIAL LITERACY AND EDUCATION COMMISSION: Progress Made in Fostering Partnerships, but National Strategy Remains Largely Descriptive Rather Than Strategic, GAO-09-638T (pdf, 20pp/176kB), April 29, 2009

In 2003 the Financial Literacy and Education Improvement Act established the Financial Literacy and Education Commission to improve financial literacy and education through a national strategy. In Dec. 2006 GAO published a report (pdf, 54pp/580kB) with recommendations to the Commission on its national strategy, Web site, reviews of federal activities, and development of partnerships. This testimony is on the Commission's progress in implementing GAO's recommendations and key challenges the Commission faces.

AUTO INDUSTRY: Summary of Government Efforts and Automakers' Restructuring to Date, GAO-09-553 (pdf, 48pp/624kB), April 23, 2009

To stabilize the auto industry, in Dec. 2008 Treasury established the Automotive Industry Financing Program (AIFP) under TARP. Through March 2009, Treasury allocated $36 billion to AIFP. As part of GAO's mandate to oversee TARP activities, this report discusses the (1) nature and purpose of assistance to the auto industry, (2) how the assistance addresses three principles (identifying and defining the problem, determining the national interests and setting clear goals and objectives that address the problem, and protecting the government's interests), and (3) important factors for Chrysler and GM to address in achieving long-term viability and the challenges they face to become viable.

COMMERCIAL AVIATION: Airline Industry Contraction Due to Volatile Fuel Prices and Falling Demand Affects Airports, Passengers, and Federal Government Revenues, GAO-09-393 (pdf, 58pp/1.4MB), April 21, 2009

According to GAO, U.S. passenger airlines lost $4.3 billion in the first 3 quarters of 2008, largely due to volatile fuel prices, and the outlook for profitability in 2009 is uncertain. For this report, GAO examined how (1) the financial condition of the U.S. passenger airline industry has changed, the principal factors affecting its condition, and its prospects for 2009; (2) airlines have responded to the factors affecting their financial condition; and (3) changes in the industry have affected airports, passengers, and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), which funds the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) capital programs and most of its operations.

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