Improvements Needed in DOE's Efforts To Disseminate Solar Information

EMD-81-101: Published: Jun 24, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 1981.

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GAO recently completed a review of the Department of Energy's (DOE) efforts to disseminate information on solar energy technologies. Since 1979, DOE has been operating a national solar information network comprised of various DOE funded organizations which disseminate solar information.

Although some of the guiding principles in establishing this network were to eliminate overlapping services, user frustration and confusion, and duplication of effort, GAO found that some of these problems still exist. Specifically, it found: (1) overlapping and duplicative inquiry and referral services, (2) indications that the newtork is confusing the public and those charged with disseminating solar information, and (3) duplication of database information. In addition to the national solar information network, there are other DOE organizations which, as a part of their broad information activities, disseminate information on solar energy technologies. The solar information dissemination activities of these other organizations can further contribute to the problems stated.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should merge DOE solar databases so that duplicative information is eliminated.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  2. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should require that DOE organizations involved in disseminating solar information keep complete and uniform records on the volume and type of solar information disseminated so that DOE management can monitor and evaluate such activities to ensure that future overlapping and duplicative services do not occur.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  3. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should consolidate, where possible, the inquiry and referral services of DOE organizations which disseminate solar energy information to minimize overlapping and duplicative services.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

 

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