Review of Environmental Protection Agency's Efforts To Detect and Prevent Fraud and Abuse

CED-80-100: Published: May 29, 1980. Publicly Released: May 29, 1980.

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A review was undertaken of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to detect and prevent fraud and abuse. During most of the review, the Office of Audit was responsible for evaluating the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of financial and program operations since the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was not established until January 7, 1980. Also, the Inspection Branch was responsible for matters relating to fraud, gross abuse, corrupt practices, or other irregularities.

Prior to the establishment of OIG, fraud audits and investigations were done primarily on a reactive basis. The 1980 fiscal year workplan shows that EPA will be able to meet only about 25 percent of its overall audit requirements. Although the audit resources of EPA fall short of those necessary to meet audit demands, other factors have handicapped EPA in its efforts to identify fraud and abuse. These include: (1) the delay in establishing an Office of Inspector General; (2) the lack of a viable ongoing management information system; and (3) poor utilization of investigative reports recommending needed changes in management policies and procedures.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should: (1) request the resources necessary for OIG to carry out its responsibilities; and (2) direct management officials to be more responsive to investigative reports by revising EPA Order 3120.1A to more clearly define management responsibilities for taking corrective action on investigative findings, to establish time frames for taking action, and to designate officials responsible for ensuring timely corrective action. Additionally, the Administrator, EPA, should direct the Inspector General to: (1) further develop a more organized, systematic approach to identifying fraud by instituting a management information system which will provide information on the most likely types and methods of fraud and abuse; (2) incorporate fraud detection steps into all routine audits; (3) provide more visibility, publicity, and resources to fraud and abuse programs, such as the whistleblowers hotline and code of conduct briefings; and (4) require that the cover letters forwarding closed investigative reports to management officials contain conclusions and recommendations for corrective action.

    Agency Affected:


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