Managing for Results:

EPA's Efforts to Implement Needed Management Systems and Processes

T-RCED-97-133: Published: Apr 15, 1997. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1997.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to improve its methods of establishing priorities, allocating resources, and measuring performance.

GAO noted that: (1) in March 1996, the EPA Administrator announced plans to create a new Office of Planning, Analysis, and Accountability; (2) the office was established in January 1997; (3) in the interim, an EPA work group composed of employees on temporary assignment started to develop the new planning, budgeting, and accountability system; (4) however, the work group was not fully staffed, and the development of the new system is still in the early stages; (5) the new Office of Planning, Analysis, and Accountability will not be fully staffed before July 1997; (6) EPA faces long-term challenges to obtain the scientific and environmental data needed to fully support its new system; (7) although much environmental information has already been collected, many gaps exist and the data are often difficult to compile because divergent data collection methods have been used; (8) likewise, much effort is still required to identify, develop, and agree on a comprehensive set of environmental measures to link the agency's activities to changes in environmental conditions; and (9) without environmental measures, EPA has to rely solely on administrative measures, such as the number of permits issued or inspections made, to measure its performance or success.

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