Recent GAO reports

From the Government Accountability Office (GAO):

COMBATING GANGS: Better Coordination and Performance Measurement Would Help Clarify Roles of Federal Agencies and Strengthen Assessment of Efforts, GAO-09-708 (pdf 89pp/2.5MB), July 24, 2009

There are approximately 1 million gang members in the U.S., operating in every state, according to Dept. of Justice (DOJ) estimates. A problem of urban areas, in the 1980s and 1990s gangs began migrating into suburban and rural communities as well. DOJ and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) are the key federal agencies combating gang crime. GAO reviews federal programs and their collaboration with state and local agencies in anti-gang efforts.

WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT: Federal Agencies Have Taken Important Steps Forward, but Additional Action Is Needed to Address Remaining Challenges, GAO-09-906T (pdf, 19pp/256Kb), July 21, 2009

The Forest Service and four Dept. of Interior agencies are responsible for wildland fires on federal lands. In the past decade, both average annual acreage burned and federal appropriations for fire management have doubled. In this testimony, GAO recommends: developing a cohesive strategy, establishing a cost-containment strategy, clearly defining financial responsibilities for fires that cross jurisdictions, and mitigating effects of rising fire costs on other agency programs.

SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAMS: Experiences of the States and Districts That Eliminated Reduced-price Fees, GAO-09-584 (pdf, 44pp/648kB), July 17, 2009

In FY2008, 31 million children participated in the National School Lunch Program and more than 10 million in the School Breakfast Program, both providing meals for free or at reduced price for low-income students, based on federal poverty guidelines. Some states and school districts have eliminated the reduced-price fee (ERP) programs, providing free meals to increase participation. GAO reviewed ERP programs and concluded:
Some state- and district-level officials believe that there is an even greater need for this type of program at a time when some families are experiencing increased economic hardship. However, state and local fiscal conditions have continued to deteriorate since we began our audit work and the effect of the changes in the economic climate on ERP programs is unknown.

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