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GAO Adds Federal Indian Programs, Environmental Liabilities, 2020 Census to High-Risk List

The Government Accountability Office has added the 2020 Decennial Census, federal environmental liabilities and management of federal health, education and energy programs for Indian tribes to its high-risk list or areas in government operations that are vulnerable to fraud, waste and mismanagement.

GAO said in a report published Wednesday the addition of the three new areas to the 2017 list brings the total number of high-risk areas to 34, up from 32 in 2015.

The agency evaluated high-risk areas based on leadership commitment, agency capacity, action plan, monitoring efforts and demonstrated progress.

The document showed the expansion of two high-risk areas that include the Defense Department’s polar-orbiting weather satellites and the Interior Department’s offshore oil restructuring efforts.

GAO removed the area related to terrorism-related data sharing and management after it found notable changes in the way federal, state and other local government agencies share intelligence data.

The report also showed the removal of segments of two areas associated with DoD’s supply chain management and data gaps linked to geostationary weather satellites.

The congressional budget watchdog also identified high-risk areas that require attention such as DoD’s financial management, security of federal data systems, health care programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs and management of the information technology acquisition process.

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