Cleanup Technology:

Better Management for DOE's Technology Development Program

RCED-92-145: Published: Apr 10, 1992. Publicly Released: May 11, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) management of its Technology Development (TD) Program, focusing on ways that DOE can increase the program's effectiveness.

GAO found that: (1) DOE established the TD Program as part of its efforts to clean up the environment; (2) although DOE has begun to implement the TD Program and fund major research and development projects, it has not established measurable performance goals, determined the cost of accomplishing those goals, or ensured that the research and development projects continue to be beneficial; and (3) for fiscal year (FY) 1992, DOE is planning to receive about $303 million in funds for the program, and is requesting about $315 million for FY 1993. GAO believes that, without fundamental management tools: (1) DOE will have difficulty clearly determining its objectives, how to achieve them, and when it has achieved them; and (2) Congress will have difficulty determining TD Program investment and funding needs.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The management plan was issued and addresses the GAO recommendations. The recommendation should be closed.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the effectiveness of the TD Program, the Secretary of Energy should establish measurable performance goals for the program that include identifying the limitations of conventional cleanup technologies and how DOE plans to improve on these limitations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOE issued a management plan incorporating the GAO recommendations. The recommendation should be closed.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the effectiveness of the TD Program, the Secretary of Energy should establish overall costs and schedules for the program's projects, including the integrated demonstration projects.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOE issued a management plan that incorporated the GAO recommendations. The recommendation should be closed.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the effectiveness of the TD Program, the Secretary of Energy should develop explicit decision points for determining when to continue or discontinue the program's projects in order to justify the projects' continuation or termination.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

 

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