Ways to Strengthen Congressional Control of Energy Construction Projects Other Than Nuclear

EMD-77-25: Published: Feb 25, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 1977.

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The Energy Research and Development Administration's (ERDA) budgeting, accounting, and reporting procedures associated with construction-related activities for nonnuclear energy research and development projects were reviewed. The purpose of the review was to determine the extent to which existing legislative reporting requirements provide Congressional committees with information necessary for effective control over the funding of such projects. Of particular interest was ERDA's compliance with the reporting and specific authorization requirements of the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974.

These requirements are inadequate because they are vague and allow selective interpretation, thus limiting the ability of Congress to control nonnuclear energy projects. ERDA has not established any specific criteria for use in identifying the types of nonnuclear energy projects subject to the reporting or specific authorization requirements. The 1974 act is not clear about which type of projects must be reported or specifically authorized. Nowhere in the act are types of projects specifically defined.

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