For one federal agency, 2014 is likely to end the same way the 16 preceding years did: with a 1998 memo from government auditors that identified fraud in the food stamp program — and how the government can stop it — tucked away in a stack of papers, ignored.
Thousands of official recommendations identifying definitive steps to improve government operations — 8,899 of them, to be exact — generated by the nonpartisan auditors at the Government Accountability Office have been ignored by hundreds of agencies, a Washington Examiner analysis of GAO recommendations found. Half of those recommendations have languished for years.
This towering stack of “open recommendations” illustrates that identifying waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government — and how to stop it — is only the beginning of the battle.
It can take much longer, it turns out, to get agencies to do anything about it.
The government has sat on a total of 500 homeland security recommendations, including a 1996 report that called for “immediate action” on “aviation security,” warning that domestic airliners would become targets of terrorism without better passenger screening.