Query Concerning Required SPR Fill Rate and Possible Impoundment of Funds

B-208196: Published: May 5, 1983. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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GAO responded to questions concerning the required fill rate for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR); whether the Department of Energy (DOE) is impounding funds by filling at the present rate; and what minimum SPR fill rate is required under the Energy Emergency Preparedness Act. GAO stated that the operative provisions of the act require a minimum fill rate of 220,000 barrels per day; however, if funds are available in any given fiscal year to achieve a higher average annual fill rate, then the minimum required fill rate shall be the highest practicable fill rate achievable, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. GAO agreed with the DOE position that all unexpended current and prior year balances should be considered as available funds for purposes of calculating the highest practicable fill rate achievable and stated that factors relating to prudent management may be taken into account when determining what fill rate is practicable.

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