oversight

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of Commerce

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-01-01.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

               United States General Accounting Office

GAO            Performance and Accountability Series




January 2003
               Major Management
               Challenges and
               Program Risks
               Department of
               Commerce




GAO-03-97
               a
A Glance at the Agency Covered in This Report
The Department of Commerce’s programs include
●       conducting the decennial census and over 200 other demographic and economic
        censuses and surveys;
●       monitoring hundreds of international trade agreements and supporting export
        policies that affect millions of domestic jobs;
●       providing assistance to distressed communities;
●       helping stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and providing
        technical assistance to other countries concerning export controls;
●       warning the public about severe weather, such as hurricanes and tornadoes;
●       supporting the management of living marine resources, including 300 marine
        species in 2,000,000 square miles of ocean;
●       fostering telecommunications policies that promote economic and technical
        advancement; and
●   protecting patents, trademarks, and intellectual property rights.


The Department of Commerce’s Budgetary and Staff Resources


Budgetary Resources a, b                                             Staff Resources b
Dollars in billions                                                  FTEs in thousands

16                                                                   120
                                                                                                113
                             12
12                                                                    90
                                       8           9

                   8
    8                                                                 60
          6                                                                            47
                                                                              36                           37         37

    4                                                                 30


    0                                                                  0
         1998    1999      2000      2001         2002                      1998      1999      2000      2001        2002
         Fiscal year                                                        Fiscal year
Source: Budget of the United States Government.

a Budgetary resources include new budget authority (BA) and unobligated balances of previous BA. The 2000
    numbers reflect an increase in resources needed for the 2000 Census.
b Budget and staff resources are actuals for FY 1998-2001. FY 2002 are estimates from the FY 2003 budget, which
    are the latest publicly available figures on a consistent basis as of January 2003. Actuals for FY 2002 will be
    contained in the President’s FY 2004 budget to be released in February 2003.




This Series
This report is part of a special GAO series, first issued in 1999 and updated in
2001, entitled the Performance and Accountability Series: Major Management
Challenges and Program Risks. The 2003 Performance and Accountability Series
contains separate reports covering each cabinet department, most major
independent agencies, and the U.S. Postal Service. The series also includes a
governmentwide perspective on transforming the way the government does
business in order to meet 21st century challenges and address long-term fiscal
needs. The companion 2003 High-Risk Series: An Update identifies areas at high risk
due to either their greater vulnerabilities to waste, fraud, abuse, and
mismanagement or major challenges associated with their economy, efficiency, or
effectiveness. A list of all of the reports in this series is included at the end of
this report.
                                                    January 2003


                                                    PERFORMANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY SERIES

                                                    Department of Commerce
Highlights of GAO-03-97, a report to
Congress included as part of GAO’s
Performance and Accountability Series




In its 2001 performance and                         Commerce has taken steps to address the challenges that GAO previously
accountability report on the                        identified. Because they reflect the complex nature of Commerce’s work,
Department of Commerce, GAO                         these challenges continue. In addition, GAO has identified planning and
identified important trade, export,                 conducting an accurate, cost-effective 2010 census and improving other
weather prediction, and other                       commerce statistical programs as a new challenge for Commerce.
issues facing the department. The
information GAO presents in this
report is intended to help to sustain               •   Census 2010 and other statistical programs. In general,
congressional attention and a                           Commerce’s implementation of the 2000 census was consistent with its
departmental focus on continuing                        operational plans. Now it must plan and implement a cost-effective 2010
to make progress in addressing                          census of an increasingly large and diverse population as well as ensure
these challenges. The majority of                       the accuracy of its other statistical products.
these challenges reflect the diverse
and complex nature of the                           •   Promoting and liberalizing trade while creating jobs. Commerce
department's work and the                               has improved the accuracy and completeness of its trade agreement
difficult, long-term problems the                       archive and has met performance targets related to creating jobs. In
department is working to manage.
                                                        helping U.S. exporters gain access to foreign markets, Commerce needs
This report is part of a special
series of reports on                                    to continue to support negotiations on trade agreements, monitor and
governmentwide and agency-                              enforce these agreements, and assist potential exporters. Commerce
specific issues.                                        also needs to continue its assistance in areas of the nation experiencing
                                                        high unemployment, low income, or severe economic distress.

                                                    •   Strengthening export controls while facilitating global
GAO believes that Commerce                              enterprise. In response to GAO’s concerns, Commerce established a
should continue to                                      group to monitor trends in exports of controlled items to Hong Kong.
                                                        Commerce needs to continue to control and require licenses for
•    take steps to maximize                             exporting items that may pose a national security risk or foreign policy
     achievement of its mission,                        concern.
     especially as it relates to
     statistical programs, trade,
     exports, job creation, weather                 •   Improving predictions of weather and climate and management of
     prediction, and natural                            key natural resources. Commerce reported that it met many of its
     resources; and                                     performance targets for improving weather predictions and forecasts.
•    improve its financial                              Continuing to provide scientific, technical, and managerial expertise to
     management systems and                             monitor and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and to conserve
     correct its remaining internal                     and manage U.S. marine and coastal resources are important for
     control weaknesses.                                Commerce.

                                                    •   Improving financial management functions. Commerce has made
                                                        substantial progress in its financial management activities in recent
                                                        years. In order to comply with applicable laws and safeguard its assets,
                                                        Commerce should continue to emphasize improvements in financial
                                                        management and complete its planned financial system.
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-97.

To view the full report, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Thomas J.
McCool at (202) 512-8678 or
mccoolt@gao.gov.
Contents



Transmittal Letter                                                                                                 1


Major Performance                                                                                                  2

and Accountability
Challenges

GAO Contacts                                                                                                      22


Related GAO Products                                                                                              23


Performance and                                                                                                   27
Accountability and
High-Risk Series




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                       Page i                                                    GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
A
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548
                                                                                           Comptroller General
                                                                                           of the United States




           January 2003                                                                                           T
                                                                                                                  ransmL
                                                                                                                       ta
                                                                                                                        ileter




           The President of the Senate
           The Speaker of the House of Representatives

           This report addresses the major management challenges and program risks facing the Department of
           Commerce as it seeks to promote job creation and improve living standards for all Americans by
           creating infrastructure that supports economic growth, technological competitiveness, and
           sustainable development. The report discusses the actions that Commerce has taken and that are
           under way to address the challenges that GAO identified in its Performance and Accountability Series
           2 years ago, and major events that have occurred and significantly influence the environment in which
           Commerce carries out its mission. Also, GAO summarizes the challenges that remain, describes new
           challenges that have emerged, and further actions that GAO believes are needed.

           This analysis should help the new Congress and the administration carry out their responsibilities and
           improve government for the benefit of the American people. For additional information about this
           report, contact Thomas J. McCool, Managing Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment,
           at (202)-512-8678 or at mccoolt@gao.gov.




           David M. Walker
           Comptroller General
           of the United States




                                     Page 1                                           GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
Major Performance and Accountability
Challenges

              In January 2001, we reported that the Department of Commerce faced five
              performance and accountability challenges.1 These challenges were
              (1) increasing the access of U.S. businesses to international trade;
              (2) ensuring that the United States is secure from the proliferation of dual-
              use commodities and chemical weapons; (3) ensuring that weather
              forecasts and severe weather warnings are accurate and timely;
              (4) improving the economy in distressed areas; and (5) addressing other
              challenges that included improving financial management, completing
              evaluations of the 2000 Census, and pursuing cost-effective alternatives for
              managing the research fleet used to acquire marine data.

              Since our January 2001 report, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,
              have had an immediate and long-term impact on Commerce’s operations
              and Commerce has taken some specific steps to address the agency’s
              challenges. In its accountability report, Commerce noted that it supported
              search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site and at the
              Pentagon with mapping, remote sensing, aerial photography, and other
              technology-related services and expertise available through a number of its
              bureaus, and provided grants to assist with economic recovery.2 For the
              long term, Commerce states that, while the terrorist attacks did not alter its
              mission, several of its component agencies will have a continued role in
              protecting U.S. security. For example,

              • The National Institute of Standards and Technology is conducting
                research and standards development projects related to safer
                structures, secure information systems, threat detection and protection,
                and law enforcement.

              • The Bureau of Industry and Security3 continues to assist federal
                agencies with identifying physical and cyber assets that are essential to
                protecting the national and economic security of the United States and
                implementing appropriate export controls over those assets.



              1
               U.S. General Accounting Office, Major Management Challenges and Program Risks:
              Department of Commerce, GAO–01–243 (Washington, D.C.: January 2001).
              2
               U.S. Department of Commerce: FY 2001 Accountability Report: Charting Our Course for
              a Stronger America, March 2002.
              3
               The Bureau of Industry and Security was formerly called the Bureau of Export
              Administration.




              Page 2                                                   GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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• The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  provides information to the Coast Guard and others to ensure port and
  maritime security.

Furthermore, Commerce has made progress in addressing the performance
and accountability challenges that it faces. In its fiscal year 2001
accountability report, Commerce indicated that it has initiated steps to
address information security weaknesses that we and others had identified,
continued to improve its financial management systems, and met or
exceeded many of its performance targets for fiscal year 2001. For
example, Commerce reported that, among other things, it met or exceeded
performance targets for detecting illegal export transactions and assisting
firms who exported goods for the first time, creating jobs and making
private sector investments in distressed communities, and issuing flash
flood warnings. In addition, Commerce has made improvements related to
recommendations that we have included in our reports. For example,
Commerce implemented actions to improve the accuracy and
completeness of its trade agreement archive and established a group to
monitor trends in exports of controlled items to Hong Kong.

The majority of Commerce’s performance and accountability challenges
reflect the diverse and complex nature of the department's work and the
difficult, long-term problems the department is working to manage.
Consequently, these challenges have generally remained the same since our
2001 report. Because of the anticipated cost and planning difficulties
associated with the 2010 Census, we have added “planning and conducting
an accurate, cost-effective 2010 Census and improving other Commerce
statistical programs” as a major challenge. Unless this challenge is
aggressively addressed, the 2010 Census may become a high-risk area as
happened with the 2000 Census. Three other challenges—those related to
export, trade, and weather—encompass four of the challenges that we
described in our 2001 report. We combined the challenges of increasing the
access of U.S. businesses to international trade and improving the economy
in distressed areas into one challenge—promoting and liberalizing trade
while creating jobs. In addition, we describe the challenges related to
exports and weather more broadly and, thus, include more activities.
These changes make the challenges more equivalent to each other in their
importance to the agency’s mission and align them with Commerce’s
strategic plan. The fifth challenge has been reduced to only include
improving financial management because Commerce has nearly completed
its efforts related to the 2000 Census and has explored alternatives related
to managing its research fleet. While we do not identify them as agency



Page 3                                          GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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                        Challenges




                        performance and accountability challenges, this report describes
                        challenges that Commerce faces in the areas that we have identified as
                        governmentwide high-risk areas—strategic human capital management,
                        information security weaknesses, and managing federal real property.




Planning and            Commerce is one of the nation’s principal statistical agencies. The
                        department’s Bureau of the Census (Census) and Bureau of Economic
Conducting an           Analysis (BEA), along with its other statistical programs, accounted for
Accurate, Cost-         about 17 percent of the estimated $4.3 billion spent on federal statistical
                        programs in 2002. Essential for providing demographic, economic, and
Effective 2010 Census   other data critical to the nation’s well being, several department programs
and Improving Other     face significant management challenges.
Commerce Statistical
                        One of our long-standing concerns has been the decennial census. A
Programs                successful head count is critical because the Constitution requires a census



                        Page 4                                          GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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to reapportion the House of Representatives. Census data are also used to
redraw congressional districts, allocate billions of dollars in federal
assistance to state and local governments, and for many other public and
private sector purposes.

We named the 2000 Census a high-risk area in February 1997 because
formidable challenges surrounded key census-taking operations. Although
we removed the high-risk designation in 2001 when Census generally
implemented the 2000 tally consistent with its operational plans, our
addition of the 2010 Census to the current list of performance and
accountability challenges reflects our growing concern over the numerous
obstacles to a cost-effective head count. Indeed, as Census plans for 2010,
it confronts many of the same difficulties it faced in 2000, as well as some
newly emerging uncertainties. We will continue to review the planning and
execution of the 2010 Census over the remainder of the decade, paying
particular attention to how Census responds to these issues. Unless
significant progress is made in addressing them, we may again designate
the decennial census a high-risk area.

The principal challenge Census faces in 2010 is the near-daunting task of
cost-effectively counting an ever-larger and increasingly diverse population
with a design that must be responsive to the needs and interests of a broad
spectrum of stakeholders that include Congress, federal agencies, state and
local governments, advocacy groups, and the scientific community.
However, as we reported in December 2001, the cost of the decennial
census has escalated dramatically, rising from $13 per housing unit in 1970
to $56 per housing unit for the 2000 Census (in constant fiscal year 2000
dollars).4 Further, the $6.5 billion spent on the 2000 Census was nearly
double the $3.3 billion spent on the 1990 Census, and initial Census
estimates of the cost of the 2010 tally range from $10 billion to $12 billion.

Census attributes the cost increase to its efforts to secure a complete count
in the face of ever-rising enumeration challenges such as achieving an
acceptable response rate to the mail-back questionnaire. Although Census
achieved similar response rates in 1990 and 2000 (65 percent in 1990 and 64
percent in 2000), it spent far more money on outreach and promotion in
2000: about $3.19 per household in 2000 compared with $0.88 in 1990 (in
constant fiscal year 2000 dollars), an increase of 260 percent. For 2010,


4
 U.S. General Accounting Office, 2000 Census: Significant Increase in Cost Per Housing
Unit Compared to 1990 Census, GAO-02-31 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 11, 2001).




Page 5                                                  GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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Census confronts the prospect of having to invest far more resources
simply to match the 2000 Census response rates.

Census’s experience in planning the 2000 Census points to areas on which
management should focus. Key among them is reaching early agreement
with Congress on the design for the 2010 Census to ensure adequate
planning, testing, and funding levels. As late as 1995, Census did not have a
design sufficiently developed to undergo full-scale testing for the 2000
Census. The various tests that Census conducted in the 1990s, including a
“dress rehearsal” in 1998, did not reveal several problems that occurred
during the actual census.5 Other procedures were developed too late to
test in an operational environment. Moreover, because the administration
and Congress disagreed over Census’s planned use of sampling, Census
was not able to finalize the 2000 design until 1999, little more than a year
before Census Day. Census’s failure to provide Congress with sufficiently
detailed data on the impact of sampling added to the controversy.

Adding to its planning difficulties, Census lacks comprehensive data on
specific quality measures for the 2000 Census such as the size and nature of
the undercount and the quality of its master address list, which could
complicate efforts to identify best practices and to target resources for
2010. Census also needs to strategically manage its human capital to meet
future requirements. For example, three senior census managers left
Census in 2002; in the years ahead, other key employees will become
eligible for retirement, making sound succession planning essential.

To help address these challenges facing Census, in our recent report on
lessons learned for planning a more cost-effective 2010 Census, we
recommended that the Secretary of Commerce direct Census to document
in its future funding requests critical planning information such as

• specific performance goals for the 2010 Census and how key procedures
  and projects would contribute to those goals;

• detailed information on project feasibility, priorities, and potential risks;

• key implementation issues and decision milestones; and



5
 See U.S. General Accounting Office, 2000 Census: Preparations for Dress Rehearsal
Leave Many Unanswered Questions, GGD–98–74 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 26, 1998).




Page 6                                                  GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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• performance measures.

Commerce agreed with our recommendation.6

Other Commerce statistical programs face challenges as well. For
example, the new Census American Community Survey (ACS), estimated
to cost $120 million to $150 million a year, is to provide more timely
household information than previously obtained every 10 years by the
census long-form questionnaire. Census believes that replacing the long
form with ACS will improve overall participation in the census because,
historically, the long form has had a lower response rate compared to the
short form. Consequently, Census believes a short-form-only census in
2010 would produce better quality data while holding down the cost of
following up with nonrespondents.

Additionally, federal agencies that rely on census data for distributing funds
and determining program eligibility would benefit because information for
states and other large geographic areas would be available annually, and
information for the smaller areas would be available every 5 years.
Although the information will be more timely, because of a smaller sample
size, it will be less accurate than that produced by the long form. Indeed,
Census has been testing ACS since 1996, but has not yet analyzed ACS
quality based on comparisons with corresponding data from the 2000
Census to determine that ACS quality will meet federal program and state
and local government needs. If these needs are not met, Census may not be
able to justify the elimination of the long form in 2010. In September 2002,
we recommended that, in order to facilitate the transition by federal
agencies from the use of 2000 decennial census data to the ACS, the
Secretary of Commerce direct Census to revise and expand the quality-
testing and evaluation component of the ACS development program. While
Census generally agreed with the direction of our recommendation, it
expressed a number of concerns about some of the detailed findings.7

Commerce also faces challenges in improving other statistical products
such as BEA’s national economic accounts. BEA’s recent revisions to


6
 U.S. General Accounting Office, 2000 Census: Lessons Learned for Planning a More
Cost-Effective 2010 Census, GAO-03-40 (Washington , D.C.: Oct. 31, 2002).
7
 For a more complete discussion of the Bureau’s comments see U.S. General Accounting
Office, The American Community Survey: Accuracy and Timeliness Issues, GAO–02–
956R (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 30, 2002).




Page 7                                                 GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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                      preliminary estimates of gross domestic product (GDP), personal income,
                      and corporate profits have indicated a significantly different picture of U.S.
                      economic activity since the end of the twentieth century. This year’s
                      regular annual revision paints a picture of a much weaker economy, raising
                      concerns about the reliability and integrity of BEA’s preliminary estimates.
                      For example, in its midyear reestimation of earlier forecasts of federal
                      government receipts and expenditures, the Congressional Budget Office
                      noted several consequences of this year’s annual GDP revisions: among
                      them, an almost 1-percent lower projection for GDP in 2012 and a
                      reduction in revenues due to a lower national income attributable to wages
                      and salaries as well as to profits. Because of these and other critical uses of
                      GDP, the reliability of BEA‘s estimates warrants continued focus by
                      Commerce.



Promoting and         As the largest importer and exporter of both goods and services in the
                      world, the United States has a major stake in building and maintaining a
Liberalizing Trade    system of open markets. With U.S. exports growing more than twice as fast
While Creating Jobs   as total U.S. output (see figure 1), exports have become increasingly
                      important to the U.S. economy. Commerce is responsible for helping U.S.
                      exporters gain access to foreign markets. The range of Commerce’s
                      activities includes (1) supporting negotiations on market-opening trade
                      agreements, (2) monitoring and enforcing such trade agreements, and
                      (3) assisting potential exporters, especially small- and medium-sized
                      businesses, to take advantage of export opportunities. In addition, through
                      its Economic Development Administration (EDA), Commerce has both an
                      agency-level and a governmentwide responsibility for improving the
                      economy in distressed areas by, among other things, supporting job
                      creation and retention and stimulating industrial and commercial growth in
                      rural and urban areas of the nation experiencing high unemployment, low
                      income, or severe economic distress.




                      Page 8                                            GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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Challenges




Figure 1: Growth in U.S. Exports Compared to Overall Output (Gross Domestic
Product)
600    Index, 1970=100



500



400



300



200



100



  0
  1970           1973         1976         1979         1982         1986   1989    1992     1995    1998
   Fiscal year
                 Exports
                 Gross Domestic Product
Source: GAO calculation based on International Monetary Fund data.




Page 9                                                                      GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                             Major Performance and Accountability
                             Challenges




Promoting and Liberalizing   Commerce supports the negotiation of trade agreements in part by co-
Trade                        administering, with the U.S. Trade Representative, the majority of private-
                             sector trade advisory committees, authorized in the Trade Act of 1974 to
                             provide industry input needed for trade negotiations. In a September 2002
                             report, we identified the need to revise this system.8 We noted that the
                             system has not been updated to reflect changes in U.S. trade policy and the
                             economy, with the result that the system has gaps in its coverage of
                             industry sectors, trade issues, and stakeholders. We also noted that the
                             leadership and administrative support provided by Commerce and the U.S.
                             Trade Representative has not been sufficient to ensure that the system
                             works reliably. Commerce’s limited staff, for example, have needed to
                             focus on processes for rechartering the advisory committees and
                             appointing members and have not been able to meet their responsibilities
                             to attend all of the advisory committees’ meetings. We made several
                             recommendations aimed at making the system’s private sector consultation
                             process more meaningful and reliable. While Commerce characterized the
                             report as thorough and fair, it urged us to make a number of modifications
                             with which we generally disagreed.9

                             Commerce also faces challenges in helping to monitor and enforce the
                             several hundred trade-related agreements already on the books. In March
                             2000, we reported that the creation of a vast array of U.S. trade agreements
                             since the early 1980s had caused dramatic increases in the trade monitoring
                             and enforcement workloads at Commerce and other trade agencies.10 We
                             also found that these agencies’ ability to monitor and enforce trade
                             agreements was limited due to a lack of sufficient staff with appropriate
                             expertise, inadequate support from other agencies, and difficulty obtaining
                             comprehensive input from the private sector. Since our report was issued,
                             Commerce has received significant increases in funding for staff to monitor
                             and enforce trade agreements. However, due to the recent nature of the
                             increases, we believe it is too early to determine fully whether these
                             additions have been effective in resolving these issues.



                             8
                              U.S. General Accounting Office, International Trade: Advisory Committee System Should
                             be Updated to Better Serve U.S. Policy Needs, GAO–02–876 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 24,
                             2002).
                             9
                             For a more complete description of the comments see GAO–02–876.
                             10
                              U.S. General Accounting Office, International Trade: Strategy Needed to Better Monitor
                             and Enforce Trade Agreements, GAO/NSIAD–00–76 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 14, 2000).




                             Page 10                                                 GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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Commerce is also the lead federal agency in conducting export promotion
programs aimed at helping U.S. businesses sell their products and services
abroad, with about 2,500 people stationed throughout the United States and
in 84 countries. Eight other federal agencies also play important roles in
the export process, and the Secretary of Commerce, as Chairman of the
interagency Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, has a mandate to
coordinate these agencies’ varied activities.11 Among other tasks, the
Secretary is to (1) develop an annual, governmentwide strategic plan for
carrying out federal export promotion and financing programs, and
(2) identify areas of overlap and duplication among federal export
activities. However, our work evaluating the coordination of export
promotion services has indicated that Commerce has been inconsistent in
its leadership role, and that it is unclear whether the agencies are using
export promotion resources most productively. In September 2002, we
reported that the committee’s annual strategic plans have provided neither
clear guidance concerning export agencies’ specific goals and
responsibilities nor an assessment of progress made from year to year, and
we recommended that the committee undertake such actions.12 In the
same report, we noted that some of the committee’s long-standing
recommendations regarding the provision of export services remain to be
implemented, and we recommended that the committee regularly analyze
progress in these areas. In response, the committee noted its intention to
address our recommendations and to make periodic reports to Congress on
the implementation of the committee’s recommendations.




11
 The Export Enhancement Act of 1992 created the Trade Promotion Coordinating
Committee to coordinate the delivery of federal export promotion services and to eliminate
the areas of overlap and duplication among federal export promotion programs. The U.S.
Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, the Interior, Labor, State,
Transportation, and the Treasury; the Agency for International Development; the Council of
Economic Advisers; the Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Export-Import Bank;
National Economic Council; the Office of Management and Budget; the Overseas Private
Investment Corporation; the Small Business Administration; the U.S. Trade and
Development Agency; and the U.S. Trade Representative comprise the Trade Promotion
Coordinating Committee.
12
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Export Promotion: Mixed Progress in Achieving a
Governmentwide Strategy, GAO–02–850 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 4, 2002).




Page 11                                                  GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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                In its export assistance programs, Commerce seeks to increase the number
                of small- and medium-sized businesses participating in international trade
                by identifying export-capable firms and providing them with export
                training. Our September 2001 report on small business export training
                programs noted that Commerce has experienced difficulties in recruiting
                qualified training participants and in following their progress in the export
                process.13 It also noted that Commerce and the Small Business
                Administration were providing virtually identical export training programs
                and that the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee had not fully met its
                mandate to eliminate duplication of export programs. We recommended
                that these programs be combined and that Commerce follow up on training
                participants’ progress to assess exporter needs and consider program
                adjustments. Commerce has since acted to combine the two export
                training programs and has stated its intention to begin conducting follow-
                up surveys of training participants.



Creating Jobs   Through EDA, Commerce has both an agency-level and a governmentwide
                responsibility for improving the economy in distressed areas. Specifically,
                EDA was created to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate
                industrial and commercial growth in rural and urban areas of the nation
                experiencing high unemployment, low income, or severe economic
                distress. EDA provides grants to economically distressed communities for
                specific projects. In addition, through legislation and accompanying
                reports, the Congress has urged EDA to aggressively pursue efforts to
                increase the efficiency of the federal response to distressed communities
                by working with other agencies.

                EDA has made some progress in meeting the two fiscal year 2001
                performance goals related to improving the economy in distressed areas—
                promoting private enterprise and job creation in economically distressed
                communities and building local capacity to achieve and sustain economic
                growth. For example, EDA reported that it met its targets for state and
                local dollars committed to EDA-funded projects that are intended to create
                jobs and exceeded its target for the percentage of EDA investments in
                areas of highest distress. EDA stated that it will discontinue reporting on



                13
                   U.S. General Accounting Office, Export Promotion: Government Agencies Should
                Combine Small Business Export Training Programs, GAO–01–1023 (Washington, D.C.:
                Sept. 21, 2001).




                Page 12                                             GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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certain interim and process measures in fiscal year 2002 because it will
have performance data for some of the long-term results of its investments.

EDA also has taken steps to coordinate its work with that of other
agencies. In particular, Commerce's fiscal year 2003 performance plan
identifies other agencies—both inside and outside of Commerce—that
share crosscutting issues with EDA. However, EDA has not yet taken the
important next step of collaborating with other agencies to develop
common or complementary goals for improving performance in addressing
crosscutting issues.14 Commerce’s responsibilities in this area derive from
a mandate in the Economic Development Administration and Appalachian
Regional Development Reform Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-393, 112 Stat. 3596),
which requires that other federal agencies cooperate with Commerce in its
efforts to assist distressed communities. Furthermore, the Senate report
accompanying the legislation states that EDA should aggressively pursue
efforts to increase the efficiency of the federal response to distressed
communities by working with other agencies. As we reported in September
2000, at least nine agencies other than the Department of Commerce fund
economic development activities.15 These include the Departments of
Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Health and Human
Services, Interior, and Transportation; as well as the Environmental
Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, and the
Appalachian Regional Commission. These agencies, along with EDA,
operate over 70 programs that can be used to support economic
development by funding activities that include constructing roads, streets,
water and sewer systems, nonresidential buildings, and industrial parks.




14
 The June 2002 Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-11, Preparation,
Submission, and Execution of the Budget, which provides guidance to executive branch
agencies for, among other things, preparing performance plans, states that some general
goals may relate to cross-agency functions, programs, or activities. In such instances, the
circular notes that agencies may have a shared responsibility for defining and achieving
general goals for these crosscutting areas and states that agencies should ensure that
appropriate and timely consultation occurs with other agencies during development of
strategic plans with crosscutting goals.
15
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Economic Development: Multiple Federal Programs
Fund Similar Economic Development Activities, GAO/RCED/GGD–00–220 (Washington,
D.C.: Sept. 29, 2000).




Page 13                                                    GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                       Major Performance and Accountability
                       Challenges




Strengthening Export   At the same time that it encourages trade, Commerce, through the Bureau
                       of Industry and Security, is one of two primary agencies that administer the
Controls While         nation's export control system.16 Under U.S. law, the President has the
Facilitating Global    authority to control and require licenses for exporting items that may pose
                       a national security risk or foreign policy concern. The risk level can vary
Enterprise             depending on the item being exported and the country of destination;
                       therefore, exports of some items involve less risk than other items and
                       exports to some countries involve less risk than to other countries.

                       Among other things, the Bureau of Industry and Security helps administer
                       the nation’s export control system by processing license applications for
                       exports of items having both military and civilian applications, such as
                       chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile technology items. Our reports
                       have consistently identified numerous problems in the administration of
                       this system, including noncompliance with the law, a weak analytical basis
                       for making licensing decisions, and increased processing times. In one of
                       these reports, we recommended that the Secretary of Commerce use
                       available immigration data to identify foreign nationals who could be
                       subject to deemed export licensing requirements and work with the other
                       departments to develop a risk-based program for monitoring compliance
                       with deemed export licenses.17 Commerce stated that it would explore the
                       practicality of our recommendation. In another report, we recommended
                       that the Secretaries of Commerce, State, and Defense improve the
                       transparency, consistency, and timeliness of the commodity classification
                       and commodity jurisdiction processes.18 While Commerce disagreed with
                       our findings and conclusions, it agreed to work with other agencies and
                       companies to implement our recommendations.




                       16
                            The State Department licenses defense items through its Office of Defense Trade Controls.
                       17
                        U.S. General Accounting Office, Export Controls: Department of Commerce Controls over
                       Transfers of Technology to Foreign Nationals Need Improvement, GAO–02–972
                       (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 6, 2002).
                       18
                        U.S. General Accounting Office, Export Controls: Processes for Determining Proper
                       Control of Defense-Related Items Need Improvement, GAO–02–996 (Washington, D.C.: Sept.
                       20, 2002).




                       Page 14                                                      GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
Major Performance and Accountability
Challenges




Our August 2002 report on high-performance computers found that the
President’s justification for raising export control thresholds did not fully
meet the requirements of law and was based on inaccurate information
provided by the computer industry and an inadequate assessment of
national security issues.19 Thus, we concluded that the decision to raise the
export control threshold was analytically weak and premature, given
market conditions. Similarly, in April 2002, we found that the U.S. agencies
had not conducted the analyses necessary to create a sound basis for its
licensing decisions on exports of advanced semiconductor manufacturing
equipment to China.20 Our report stated that U.S. policies and practices to
control the export of advanced semiconductor technology to China are
unclear and inconsistent, leading to uncertainty among U.S. industries
about the rationale for some licensing decisions. We concluded that the
current export control system needs to be reexamined because it has not
slowed China’s ability to obtain billions of dollars worth of advanced
semiconductor equipment. Consequently, we recommended that the
Secretaries of Commerce, Defense, and State reassess, document, and
update U.S. policy and practices on exporting semiconductor
manufacturing equipment and materials to China. The agencies disagreed
with our recommendation, stating that their current policies and practices
are sufficient for making export licensing decisions to China. However, we
disagreed because U.S. export regulations governing China contain
inherent inconsistencies and are based on outdated government
assessments of the availability of technology from non-U.S. sources, and
our recommendation remained unchanged.




19
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Export Controls: More Thorough Analysis Needed to
Justify Changes in High Performance Computer Controls, GAO–02–892 (Washington, D.C.:
Aug. 2, 2002).
20
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Export Controls: Rapid Advances in China's
Semiconductor Industry Underscore Need for Fundamental U.S. Policy Review, GAO–02–
620 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 19, 2002).




Page 15                                              GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                             Major Performance and Accountability
                             Challenges




                             In addition, our June 2001 report assessing Commerce processing times
                             found that license applications that took more than the maximum 90 days21
                             to review increased from about 7 percent of total applications in fiscal year
                             1997 to about 13 percent in fiscal year 2000.22 In May 2001, we reported that
                             Commerce's regulations regarding U.S. licensing requirements for missile-
                             related exports to Canada had been inconsistent with the amended Export
                             Administration Act for over 10 years.23 We recommended that Commerce
                             revise its regulations or seek a statutory change to specifically allow for
                             licensing exemptions. Commerce did not agree with our recommendation,
                             but said it would consult with other departments and its congressional
                             authorizing committees on the usefulness of revising its regulations in light
                             of pending legislation. Since the issuance of this report, Commerce has
                             solicited input to proposed changes to its regulations, but has not yet
                             finalized the changes.



Improving Predictions        NOAA provides scientific, technical, and managerial expertise to monitor
                             and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and to conserve and
of Weather and Climate       manage U.S. marine and coastal resources. Its goals include improving
and Management of            short-term weather warnings and forecasts, improving the use of fishery
                             resources, and preserving marine biological diversity by balancing the use
Key Natural Resources        of natural resources with the management of protected species.



Predictions of Weather and   Almost two decades ago, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) decided
Climate                      to improve its weather warnings and forecasts through a nationwide
                             modernization program to upgrade weather observing systems such as
                             satellites and radars, design and develop advanced computer workstations
                             for forecasters, and reorganize its field office structure. NWS recognized
                             that improved warnings and forecasts were essential to enhancing public
                             safety and our nation's economic productivity. However, the initial


                             21
                               Executive Order 12981 requires that the license review process be completed in 90 days,
                             but allows the review "clock" to be stopped at certain points such as when more information
                             is needed from the applicant.
                             22
                              U.S. General Accounting Office, Export Controls: State and Commerce Department
                             License Review Times Are Similar, GAO–01–528 (Washington, D.C.: June 1, 2001).
                             23
                              U.S. General Accounting Office, Export Controls: Regulatory Change Needed to Comply
                             with Missile Technology Licensing Requirements, GAO–01–530 (Washington, D.C.: May
                             31, 2001).




                             Page 16                                                   GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                            Major Performance and Accountability
                            Challenges




                            modernization effort faltered because of schedule delays, cost overruns,
                            and technical problems on key systems. In reviewing these efforts in the
                            mid- to late-1990s, we made numerous recommendations to address these
                            difficulties, and NWS has acted to implement them. For example, in
                            response to our recommendations, NWS established an overall systems
                            architecture, improved the availability of its Next Generation Weather
                            Radar, and enhanced its Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System
                            software development processes.

                            Through modernization, NWS has achieved improvements in the accuracy
                            and timeliness of some weather warnings. For example, in October 1998,
                            we reported that the accuracy and timeliness of flash flood warnings
                            improved in Ventura and Los Angeles counties in California after the Next
                            Generation Weather Radar program was commissioned in 1996.24 For fiscal
                            year 2001, NWS reported that the lead time for flash flood warnings
                            increased by 3 minutes over the lead time in fiscal year 2000, and that the
                            accuracy of winter storm warnings increased by 5 percent over the
                            accuracy in fiscal year 2000.

                            Since 2001, NWS has made plans to further improve weather forecasts and
                            warnings through upgrades to its supercomputer and future enhancements
                            to weather satellites. In addition, for fiscal year 2003, NWS has increased
                            some key targets for lead times and accuracy rates and lowered or
                            maintained targets for false alarm rates. These goals will continue to
                            challenge the agency as it moves to implement new weather-observing
                            technologies and strives to effectively use increased volumes of weather
                            data. For example, in July 2002, we reported on challenges in effectively
                            incorporating future volumes of satellite data into weather models.25 While
                            NWS plans to build its capacity to handle increased volumes of data, more
                            can be done to coordinate and focus these plans.



Management of Key Natural   Part of NOAA’s mission is to conserve and manage the U.S. marine and
Resources                   coastal resources. NOAA’s efforts in this area are centered around three
                            performance goals: building sustainable fisheries, sustaining healthy


                            24
                             U.S. General Accounting Office, National Weather Service: Sulphur Mountain Radar
                            Performance, GAO/AIMD–99–7 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 16, 1998).
                            25
                             U.S. General Accounting Office, Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites: Status, Plans,
                            and Future Data Management Challenges, GAO–02–684T (Washington, D.C.: July 24, 2002).




                            Page 17                                                 GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                       Major Performance and Accountability
                       Challenges




                       coasts, and recovering protected species. In its fiscal year 2001 annual
                       performance report, Commerce states that it met the targets for its
                       performance measures related to sustaining healthy coasts and recovering
                       protected species. Commerce did not set targets for performance related to
                       building sustainable fisheries because the measures were newly developed.
                       In its March 2002 semiannual report to the Congress, the Office of
                       Inspector General included increasing the effectiveness of fishery
                       management as one of Commerce’s top 10 management challenges. And in
                       its fiscal year 2001 accountability report, Commerce included this area as
                       one of the major issues, challenges, and concerns for the future.



Improving Financial    In the financial management area, Commerce has made substantial
                       progress in recent years, but continues to face challenges in both financial
Management Functions   statement reporting and financial management systems. Specifically, in
                       1996, Commerce’s Inspector General issued a disclaimer of opinion on
                       Commerce’s financial statements due to management’s inability to support
                       certain account balances and deficiencies noted in Commerce’s internal
                       controls. The auditors identified 39 reportable conditions that represented
                       significant deficiencies in the design or operation of the internal control
                       structure, of which 37 were considered to be material internal control
                       weaknesses. In contrast, Commerce received an unqualified audit opinion
                       on its financial statements for fiscal year 2001—the third year in a row it
                       received an unqualified opinion. In addition, Commerce officials
                       strengthened Commerce’s internal control structure so that the number of
                       reportable conditions identified by the auditors dropped to two for fiscal
                       year 2001, of which one was a material weakness. Despite this progress,
                       Commerce’s auditors identified financial management and reporting
                       weaknesses at three Commerce bureaus. Commerce’s Chief Financial
                       Officer has agreed that a diligent effort is needed to continue to receive
                       unqualified audit opinions on future Commerce financial statements and to
                       resolve the remaining internal control weaknesses.

                       In the financial systems area, Commerce’s auditors continue to report the
                       lack of a single, integrated financial system as a material weakness.
                       Furthermore, the auditors reported that their testing of Commerce’s
                       financial management systems disclosed instances where the systems did
                       not substantially comply with requirements of the Federal Financial
                       Management Improvement Act. Commerce recognizes the shortcomings of
                       its financial management systems. In its fiscal year 2001 accountability
                       report, Commerce noted that, taken as a whole, Commerce’s financial
                       systems do not comply with GAO principles and standards, Chief Financial



                       Page 18                                         GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                          Major Performance and Accountability
                          Challenges




                          Officers Act requirements, Joint Financial Management Improvement
                          Program requirements, or Office of Management and Budget requirements.
                          The accountability report further noted that Commerce’s existing systems
                          are not sufficiently integrated, lack security controls, and do not provide
                          reliable and timely information. Commerce reports that it has made
                          progress in addressing this material weakness and will continue its efforts
                          to improve in this area. Specifically, Commerce plans to continue its
                          phased implementation of the Commerce Administrative Management
                          System, which it expects to complete by October 2003. In order to comply
                          with applicable laws and safeguard its assets against waste, loss,
                          unauthorized use, or misappropriation, Commerce must continue to
                          emphasize financial management improvements and correct the remaining
                          internal control weaknesses.



Governmentwide            Commerce also faces challenges in the areas that we have identified as
                          governmentwide high-risk areas—strategic human capital management,
Challenges                information security weaknesses, and managing federal real property. In
                          general, we identified these areas as high-risk either because of their
                          greater vulnerabilities to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement or
                          because of major challenges associated with their economy, efficiency, or
                          effectiveness.



Strategic Human Capital   In addition to the human capital issues related to trade and the census, we
Management                have identified human capital issues in other areas of Commerce.
                          Specifically, in our 2002 report on the telecommunications spectrum, we
                          noted that Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information
                          Administration is facing serious staffing problems.26 Specifically, the
                          agency has vacancies in 21 of its 122 staff positions for spectrum
                          management, and 40 percent of its staff are eligible for retirement by 2006.
                          We recommended that the agency develop a strategy for enhancing its
                          oversight of federal spectrum use and define its human capital needs for
                          carrying out this strategy. Commerce generally agreed with our
                          recommendation, and said that it would review its human capital needs and




                          26
                           U.S. General Accounting Office, Telecommunications: Better Coordination and
                          Enhanced Accountability Needed to Improve Spectrum Management, GAO–02–906
                          (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 30, 2002).




                          Page 19                                              GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                       Major Performance and Accountability
                       Challenges




                       current resources in spectrum management and develop a strategy for
                       addressing any shortcomings.

                       In its fiscal year 2001 accountability report, Commerce acknowledges that
                       it must take steps to ensure that it retains vital knowledge, skills, and
                       management capabilities in an era where many existing employees will be
                       eligible to retire, and new employees are hard to attract and retain.
                       Commerce states that, among other things, it has developed a
                       departmentwide approach to analyzing workforce needs and planning
                       recruitment and outreach efforts and will continue to focus on this area in
                       the future.



Information Security   In our August 2001 report on computer security at Commerce, we
Weaknesses             identified significant and pervasive computer security weaknesses in the
                       information systems of seven of Commerce’s bureaus.27 We also identified
                       weaknesses in the management of Commerce’s overall information
                       security program and noted that these computer security weaknesses put
                       Commerce’s data and operations at serious risk. Based on our findings, we
                       recommended that Commerce develop and execute a centrally managed
                       information security program that includes a risk-based approach, up-to-
                       date security policies, security awareness and training, and continuous
                       monitoring of the bureaus' compliance with established policies and the
                       effectiveness of implemented controls. We also recommended that
                       Commerce bureaus address the logical access control weaknesses
                       identified during the audit. Our follow-up work indicates that Commerce
                       has made significant progress in implementing our recommendations.
                       Agency officials told us that they plan to address all of our
                       recommendations within fiscal year 2003.

                       In its fiscal year 2001 accountability report, Commerce included inadequate
                       controls in information technology security as a new material weakness.
                       As a result, Commerce reports that it has taken a number of corrective
                       actions. For example, the Secretary initiated actions that led to a
                       framework for addressing information technology security issues, issuing
                       security alerts for specific problems, and establishing a compliance group
                       to define parameters for reviewing programs and systems on a continuing
                       basis.

                       27
                        U.S. General Accounting Office, Information Security: Weaknesses Place Commerce Data
                       and Operations at Serious Risk, GAO–01–751 (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 13, 2001).




                       Page 20                                               GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                        Major Performance and Accountability
                        Challenges




Managing Federal Real   Commerce still faces ongoing physical infrastructure problems. As we
Property                reported in April 2001, a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system
                        that is incapable of providing proper air circulation or maintaining desired
                        temperatures plagues the Census Bureau’s Federal Office Building 3,
                        located in Suitland, Maryland.28 The building contains levels of carbon
                        dioxide that exceed industry standards, thereby exposing tenants to
                        unacceptable conditions. Also, the water in the building is not drinkable
                        due to the building’s deteriorated infrastructure. We recommended that the
                        Administrator of the General Services Administration, which manages the
                        building, ensure that sufficient priority consideration is given to projects
                        that would effectively prevent or resolve significant health and safety
                        concerns. The General Services Administration generally agreed with the
                        recommendation.

                        Commerce plans to focus on the modernization of the facilities used by the
                        National Institute of Standards and Technology. According to Commerce,
                        new facilities and equipment are needed in order for this agency to meet
                        stringent industry measurement requirements. Consequently, Commerce
                        has completed or planned new facilities such as the Advanced Chemical
                        Sciences Laboratory in Gaithersburg, Maryland (which is completed), and
                        the Advanced Measurement Laboratory, also located in Gaithersburg,
                        (scheduled for completion in 2004).




                        28
                         U.S. General Accounting Office, Federal Buildings: Funding Repairs and Alterations
                        Has Been a Challenge—Expanded Financing Tools Needed, GAO–01–452 (Washington,
                        D.C.: Apr. 12, 2001).




                        Page 21                                                GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
GAO Contacts




               Subject(s) covered in this report           Contact person
               Planning and conducting an accurate, cost- Patricia A. Dalton, Director
               effective 2010 Census and improving other Strategic Issues
               Commerce statistical programs              (202) 512-6737
                                                          daltonp@gao.gov
               Planning and conducting an accurate, cost- Robert Parker, Chief Statistician
               effective 2010 Census and improving other (202) 512-9750
               Commerce statistical programs              parkerr@gao.gov
               Promoting and liberalizing trade while      Susan Westin, Managing Director
               creating jobs                               International Affairs and Trade
                                                           (202) 512-4128
               Strengthening export controls while         westins@gao.gov
               facilitating global enterprise
               Promoting and liberalizing trade while      Thomas J. McCool, Managing Director
               creating jobs                               Financial Markets and Community
                                                           Investment
                                                           (202) 512-8678
                                                           mccoolt@gao.gov
               Improving predictions of weather and        Joel C. Willemssen, Managing Director
               climate and management of key natural       Information Technology
               resources                                   (202) 512-6408
                                                           willemssenj@gao.gov
               Information security weaknesses
               Improving predictions of weather and        Robert Robinson, Managing Director
               climate and management of key natural       Natural Resources and Environment
               resources                                   (202) 512-3841
                                                           robinsonr@gao.gov
               Improving financial management functions    Jeffrey C. Steinhoff, Managing Director
                                                           Financial Management and Assurance
                                                           (202) 512-2600
                                                           steinhoffj@gao.gov
               Strategic human capital management          J. Christopher Mihm, Director
                                                           Strategic Issues
                                                           (202) 512-6806
                                                           mihmj@gao.gov
               Information security weaknesses             Robert F. Dacey, Director
                                                           Information Technology
                                                           (202) 512-3317
                                                           daceyr@gao.gov
               Managing federal real property              Bernie Ungar, Director
                                                           Physical Infrastructure
                                                           (202) 512-8024
                                                           ungarb@gao.gov




               Page 22                                                  GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
Related GAO Products



Planning and Conducting an   2000 Census: Lessons Learned for Planning a More Cost-Effective 2010
Accurate, Cost-Effective     Census. GAO-03-40. Washington, D.C.: October 31, 2002.
2010 Census and Improving    The American Community Survey: Accuracy and Timeliness Issues.
Other Commerce Statistical   GAO-02-956R. Washington, D.C.: September 30, 2002.
Programs
                             2000 Census: Refinements to Full Count Review Program Could Improve
                             Future Data Quality. GAO-02-562. Washington, D.C.: July 3, 2002.

                             2000 Census: Coverage Evaluation Matching Implemented as Planned,
                             but Census Bureau Should Evaluate Lessons Learned. GAO-02-297.
                             Washington, D.C.: March 14, 2002.

                             2000 Census: Best Practices and Lessons Learned for More Cost-Effective
                             Nonresponse Follow-up. GAO-02-196. Washington, D.C.: February 11,
                             2002.

                             2000 Census: Coverage Evaluation Interviewing Overcame Challenges,
                             but Further Research Needed. GAO-02-26. Washington, D.C.: December 31,
                             2001.

                             2000 Census: Analysis of Fiscal Year 2000 Budget and Internal Control
                             Weaknesses at the U.S. Census Bureau. GAO-02-30. Washington, D.C.:
                             December 28, 2001.

                             2000 Census: Significant Increase in Cost Per Housing Unit Compared
                             to 1990 Census. GAO-02-31. Washington, D.C.: December 11, 2001.

                             2000 Census: Better Productivity Data Needed for Future Planning and
                             Budgeting. GAO-02-4. Washington, D.C.: October 4, 2001.

                             2000 Census: Review of Partnership Program Highlights Best Practices
                             for Future Operations. GAO-01-579. Washington, D.C.: August 20, 2001.

                             Record Linkage and Privacy: Issues in Creating New Federal Research
                             and Statistical Information. GAO-01-126SP. Washington, D.C.: April 2001.

                             Decennial Censuses: Historical Data on Enumerator Productivity Are
                             Limited. GAO-01-208R. Washington, D.C.: January 5, 2001.




                             Page 23                                       GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                              Related GAO Products




Promoting and Liberalizing    International Trade: Advisory Committee System Should be Updated to
Trade While Creating Jobs     Better Serve U.S. Policy Needs. GAO-02-876. Washington, D.C.: September
                              24, 2002.

                              Human Capital: Major Human Capital Challenges at SEC and Key
                              Trade Agencies. GAO-02-662T. Washington, D.C.: April 23, 2002.

                              Export Promotion: Mixed Progress in Achieving a Governmentwide
                              Strategy. GAO-02-850. Washington, D.C.: September 4, 2002.

                              Export Promotion: Government Agencies Should Combine Small
                              Business Export Training Programs. GAO-01-1023. Washington, D.C.:
                              September 21, 2001.

                              Trade Adjustment Assistance: Experiences of Six Trade-Impacted
                              Communities. GAO-01-838. Washington, D.C.: August 24, 2001.



Strengthening Export          Nonproliferation: Strategy Needed to Strengthen Multilateral Export
Controls While Facilitating   Control Regimes. GAO-03-43. Washington, D.C.: October 25, 2002.
Global Enterprise             Export Controls: Processes for Determining Proper Control of Defense-
                              Related Items Need Improvement. GAO-02-996. Washington, D.C.:
                              September 20, 2002.

                              Export Controls: Department of Commerce Controls over Transfers of
                              Technology to Foreign Nationals Need Improvement. GAO-02-972.
                              Washington, D.C.: September 6, 2002.

                              Export Controls: More Thorough Analysis Needed to Justify Changes in
                              High Performance Computer Controls. GAO-02-892. Washington, D.C.:
                              August 2, 2002.

                              Export Controls: Rapid Advances in China's Semiconductor Industry
                              Underscore Need for Fundamental U.S. Policy Review. GAO-02-620.
                              Washington, D.C.: April 19, 2002.

                              Export Controls: Issues to Consider in Authorizing a New Export
                              Administration Act. GAO-02-468T. Washington, D.C.: February 28, 2002.




                              Page 24                                       GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
                            Related GAO Products




                            Nuclear Nonproliferation: Coordination of U.S. Programs Designed to
                            Reduce the Threat Posed by Weapons of Mass Destruction. GAO-02-180T.
                            Washington, D.C.: November 14, 2001.

                            Export Controls: Clarification of Jurisdiction for Missile Technology
                            Items Needed. GAO-02-120. Washington, D.C.: October 9, 2001.

                            Export Controls: State and Commerce Department License Review Times
                            Are Similar. GAO-01-528. Washington, D.C.: June 1, 2001.

                            Export Controls: Regulatory Change Needed to Comply with Missile
                            Technology Licensing Requirements. GAO-01-530. Washington, D.C.: May
                            31, 2001.

                            Export Controls: Inadequate Justification for Relaxation of Computer
                            Controls Demonstrates Need for Comprehensive Study. GAO-01-534T.
                            Washington, D.C.: March 15, 2001.



Improving Predictions of    Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites: Status, Plans, and Future Data
Weather and Climate and     Management Challenges. GAO-02-684T. Washington, D.C.: July 24, 2002.
Management of Key Natural
                            Water Infrastructure: Information on Federal and State Financial
Resources                   Assistance. GAO-02-134. Washington, D.C.: November 30, 2001.

                            Invasive Species: Obstacles Hinder Federal Rapid Response to Growing
                            Threat. GAO-01-724. Washington, D.C.: July 24, 2001.

                            Wetlands Protection: Assessments Needed to Determine Effectiveness of
                            In-Lieu-Fee Mitigation. GAO-01-325. Washington, D.C.: May 4, 2001.



Improving Financial         Department of Commerce: Status of Achieving Key Outcomes and
Management Functions        Addressing Major Management Challenges. GAO-01-793. Washington,
                            D.C.: June 15, 2001.



Governmentwide              Telecommunications: Better Coordination and Enhanced Accountability
Challenges                  Needed to Improve Spectrum Management. GAO-02-906. Washington,
                            D.C.: September 30, 2002.




                            Page 25                                       GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
Related GAO Products




Critical Information Protection: Significant Challenges Need to Be
Addressed. GAO-02-961T. Washington, D.C.: July 24, 2002.

Information Security: Additional Actions Needed to Implement Reform
Legislation. GAO-02-470T. Washington, D.C.: March 6, 2002.

Computer Security: Improvements Needed to Reduce Risk to Critical
Federal Operations and Assets. GAO-02-231T. Washington, D.C.:
November 9, 2001.

Information Security: Weaknesses Place Commerce Data and Operations
at Serious Risk. GAO-01-751. Washington, D.C.: August 13, 2001.

Information Security: Weaknesses Place Commerce Data and Operations
at Serious Risk. GAO-01-1004T. Washington, D.C.: August 3, 2001.

Federal Buildings: Funding Repairs and Alterations Has Been a
Challenge—Expanded Financing Tools Needed. GAO-01-452. Washington,
D.C.: April 12, 2001.




Page 26                                      GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
Performance and Accountability and High-
Risk Series

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: A Governmentwide
              Perspective. GAO-03-95.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Agriculture. GAO-03-96.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Commerce. GAO-03-97.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Defense. GAO-03-98.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Education. GAO-03-99.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Energy. GAO-03-100.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Health and Human Services. GAO-03-101.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Homeland Security. GAO-03-102.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Housing and Urban Development. GAO-03-103.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of the
              Interior. GAO-03-104.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Justice. GAO-03-105.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Labor. GAO-03-106.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of State.
              GAO-03-107.

              Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
              Transportation. GAO-03-108.




              Page 27                                    GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
Performance and Accountability and High-
Risk Series




Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of the
Treasury. GAO-03-109.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of
Veterans Affairs. GAO-03-110.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: U.S. Agency for
International Development. GAO-03-111.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Environmental
Protection Agency. GAO-03-112.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Federal Emergency
Management Agency. GAO-03-113.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: National
Aeronautics and Space Administration. GAO-03-114.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Office of Personnel
Management. GAO-03-115.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Small Business
Administration. GAO-03-116.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Social Security
Administration. GAO-03-117.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: U.S. Postal Service.
GAO-03-118.

High-Risk Series: An Update. GAO-03-119.

High-Risk Series: Strategic Human Capital Management. GAO-03-120.

High-Risk Series: Protecting Information Systems Supporting the
Federal Government and the Nation’s Critical Infrastructures.
GAO-03-121.

High-Risk Series: Federal Real Property. GAO-03-122.




Page 28                                     GAO-03-97 Commerce Challenges
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