Environmental Protection:

EPA's Actions to Improve Longstanding Information Management Weaknesses

T-IMTEC-93-4: Published: Mar 29, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 1993.

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GAO discussed information resources management (IRM) at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). GAO noted that: (1) EPA has hundreds of district information systems with their own structures and purposes; (2) many of the EPA automated systems are too difficult to use or ill-designed to measure and assess environmental results; (3) data problems reflect EPA deficiencies in adhering to existing governmentwide policies and standards for the aquisition and use of automated data processing resources; (4) IRM deficiencies seriously impair EPA ability to effectively carry out its program responsibilities; (5) there is no link between IRM investments, strategic management goals or objectives, and the EPA budget; (6) EPA has not defined information needs for different levels of EPA or explained the link between ongoing information initiatives; (7) little consensus exists among senior managers on EPA agencywide IRM priorities; (8) EPA has a highly fragmented, decentralized IRM environment that lacks adequate oversight and controls; (9) EPA lacks an established, agencywide data management program to ensure the integrity of information; (10) EPA has begun to address its systemic IRM planning and data administration weaknesses and comply with existing governmentwide IRM policies; and (11) EPA is developing specific solutions to improve access to agencywide data and to facilitate analyses based on integrated information.

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