EPA's Information Systems Provide Inadequate Support for Reregistration

T-IMTEC-92-3: Published: Oct 30, 1991. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) information systems for ensuring that data submissions from firms reregistering pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act are properly identified, tracked, and reviewed. GAO noted that: (1) information on all data submissions made by registrants is repetitively entered and edited in several different information systems; (2) since information submitted by registrants may be scattered across nine different, non-integrated systems, EPA is unable to quickly compile a comprehensive and reliable picture of the review status of a particular pesticide; (3) manual records have to be compiled and verified, since critical information about pesticide studies is not kept in automated systems; (4) to fully integrate its information systems, EPA needs to establish standards for electronic data exchange and system interfaces, identify and eliminate data input and editing redundancies, and consolidate remaining individual systems; (5) tracking systems used by case review managers function as support for specific operations, rather than for management decisions, and make it difficult for EPA to respond to informational queries in a timely and effective manner; (6) current systems provide neither complete nor accessible information; and (7) rather than designing systems to provide timely and effective management support for a critical regulatory responsibility, EPA has narrowly focused on automating specific processes that simply track the movement of paper files.

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