[Application of Reclamation Safety of Dams Funds to the Construction of Cliff Dam]

B-215782: Published: Apr 7, 1986. Publicly Released: Jun 3, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO determined whether the: (1) Reclamation Safety of Dams (SOD) Act or the amendments to the act prohibit the use of SOD funds for dam safety strategies other than the simple repair of existing facilities; and (2) Secretary of the Interior may allocate the funds to the construction of a dam. GAO found that: (1) the act authorizes the modification of an existing dam when it is necessary to preserve the dam's structural safety; (2) the act explicitly refers to a structural modification; (3) costs for modification are allocated depending on the reason for the changes needed to the existing dam; (4) reimbursable costs are to be allocated for the purposes for which the structure was initially authorized and are not to be paid with funds authorized by the act; and (5) no funds are to be obligated for actual construction to modify an existing dam until the Secretary of the Interior has transmitted a report on that dam to Congress. Accordingly, the funds authorized under the act, as amended, may not be used for the construction of a dam.

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