How the United States Can and Should Improve Its Funding of International Joint Commission Activities

ID-78-10: Published: Feb 8, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 8, 1978.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The International Joint Commission assists the United States and Canada in solving water use problems along their common border. The two governments are asking the Commission to become more involved in working out solutions to increasingly complex matters.

The ability of the Commission to fulfill its responsibilities has been hampered by the ineffective means by which the United States funds Commission studies. The indirect funding method has forced the Commission to rely on federal agency funds to carry out the U.S. portion of the studies, resulting in one instance of the United States being unable to meet its commitment. Indirect funding has also caused the true cost of Commission studies to lose visibility. Congress has no awareness of the total cost of Commission studies. The resources provided to the U.S. Secretariat have not kept pace with increasing demands. Lack of adequate staff and funds has hampered the U.S. Secretariat in providing assistance to the U.S. Commissioners, and the Secretariat has had to rely on federal agencies for staff and funds to carry out some of its responsibilities. The Canadian Government has been more responsive to Commission needs.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Matter: The Secretary of State, with the concurrence of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, should: establish a separate fund to ensure that funds are readily available promptly to begin needed studies; and include direct funding of Commission board activities in the State Department budget submission to Congress. Agency budgets should no longer include separate funds for Commission studies.


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 28, 2016

Sep 27, 2016

Sep 22, 2016

Sep 20, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Aug 31, 2016

Aug 25, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here