Comments on House Bill H.R. 5019, 96th Congress

EMD-80-B1: Published: Oct 22, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 1979.

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Proposed legislation would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to require that the Comptroller General establish a program to determine and reconcile any differences in the data on the volume of imported petroleum products which are collected and published by the Energy Information Administration and the data which are collected by the United States Customs Service and published by the Bureau of the Census.

GAO presented two principal reasons why this provision should be eliminated. If enacted, this quarterly requirement would draw heavily on already limited staff resources within GAO, disrupt audit plans, and possibly preclude the undertaking of other important work. In addition, the requirement for reconciliations of data and reports to Congress every 4 months is unnecessarily restrictive. Less frequent audits would provide an adequate basis for reporting on the accuracy of imported petroleum products data. The function of collecting and verifying energy data on imported petroleum products properly belongs in the Energy Information Administration.

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