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GAO’s High Risk Series: 2009

Mark Marich

At the beginning of each Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) publishes its listing of Federal programs and efforts that are at “high risk” for waste, mismanagement, and abuse. This listing is designed to shine a light on these problems areas, and to help drive various oversight efforts.

The 2009 list was released last week.

It includes some new high risk areas, such as America’s outdated financial regulatory system and the Food and Drug Administration’s medical products review process, that should come as no surprise to anyone that follows the news on a regular basis. Other high-risk areas are hardy perennials on GAO’s hit list. These include topics such as the Pentagon’s weapons acquisition process, business systems modernization at the Internal Revenue Services, and management at the Department of Homeland Security.

Assuming the Obama Administration continues to focus on transparency and accountability in government spending, expect many of these high-risk areas to be the subject of Congressional oversight hearings in the coming year.

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