Natural Resources and Environment:

Improvements Needed To Coordinate and Increase the Effectiveness of Water Research Activities

Published: Jan 17, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 30, 1983.

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Improvements are needed in procedures followed by the Committee on Water Resources Research in carrying out the requirements of the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.

The Committee must coordinate water research by 23 distinct Federal agencies and departments dealing with the subject. No evidence was found that the information obtained by the Committee was used to evaluate the adequacy of research programs; none of its annual reports included an evaluation of the adequacy of research conducted to date, nor had the reports been issued in a timely manner. The research classification system used to identify duplication and overlaps is inadequate. Oral reviews of each agency's research activities have also been discontinued. A monitoring system to ascertain the extent to which the program was being implemented in the budget was lacking.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Committee should prepare guidelines and action plans for each of the seven functions of the establishing act. It should issue timely reports assessing the adequacy of current research and make the research classification system comprehensive and able to identify duplication and overlap. The Committee should reinstitute oral review of research at monthly intraagency meetings; develop a system for monitoring the research program in the budgetary process, the status of present research by the respective agencies, and directions for future research. It should encourage more discussion of research projects at the monthly intraagency meetings and prepare more detailed minutes.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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