Activities of the Energy Information Administration

Published: May 7, 1979. Publicly Released: May 7, 1979.

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An evaluation was made of the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which was established under the Department of Energy to provide unbiased energy data and independent and objective analyses. The organization's five operating groups are: Energy Data; Energy Information Validation; Applied Analysis; Energy Information Services; and Program Development. While the EIA is intended to be independent of the Department of Energy, which it functions within, the operation most susceptible to influence is the Office of Applied Analysis which uses a set of predictive computer models to forecast and analyze the impact of energy policy alternatives on energy supplies, demand, costs, and prices. The first year of existence for EIA was a year of transition during which the data gathering, dissemination, and analysis units from three previously separate Federal agencies were consolidated into a new organization.

As might be expected, a consolidation and reorganization of this magnitude, involving approximately 700 personnel, were not accomplished without some disruption and growing pains. The analysis of a representative sample of the resulting analytical products did not reveal any instances of policy influence. Recent actions including the development of program plans, the establishment of interim model documentation standards, and model validation prodedure development efforts, indicate that EIA is making progress toward improving the quality and reliability of Federal energy data and analysis activities. However, these are only the first steps and much more needs to be done before EIA fulfills its congressionally mandated charter as the principal source of adequate, accurate, comparable, and coordinated energy information within the Government.

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