National security impact of climate change among new ‘high risk’ areas declared by GAO
The General Accountability Office has added the fiscal impact of climate change to a “High Risk List” list it prepares for Congress and federal officials every two years. About a dozen items on the 30-item list are at least in part related to national security.
Responsibility for “extensive infrastructure such as defense facilities” and the government as provider of disaster aid were among the points cited in adding climate change to risk list.
Climate change was one of two new risks added to the biennial GAO list, which “calls attention to agencies and program areas that are high risk due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or are most in need of transformation.”
The other new area cited was gaps in weather satellites replacement plans caued by “legacies of cost increases, missed milestones, technical problems, and management challenges that have resulted in reduced functionality and slips to planned launch dates. As a result, the continuity of satellite data is at risk.”
Only two items were removed from the 2011 GAO list (interagency contrracting and IRS business systems modernization). About a dozen of the 30-item are related to agencies and operations related to national security, among them six in the Department of Defense, including DOD financial management, and the following:
The GAO report notes that “In the past 2 years notable progress has been made in the vast majority of areas that remain on GAO’s High Risk List.”