Information on the Proposed Transfer of the Department of Energy's Functions

RCED-84-28: Published: Oct 25, 1983. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 1983.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reported on the administration's proposal to transfer the Department of Energy's (DOE) functions to several Federal agencies.

GAO found that, under the administration's proposed agency reorganizations, the transfer of the DOE responsibilities for international affairs, without transfer of personnel, would eliminate one of the Government's entities now involved in the development, implementation, and assessment of international energy policies. The responsibilities for energy emergency planning would be divided within the Department of Commerce but would overlap in the petrochemical area. The transfer of energy information activities to Commerce could affect the organizational independence of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) by permitting the Secretary of Commerce to abolish, transfer, and reassign the EIA functions. The nuclear power and weapons program, which has been managed by a civilian agency for the past 37 years, would remain under civilian control if transferred to Commerce. Commerce would be responsible for energy policy, including electricity. The DOE Office of Alcohol Fuels, which is responsible for alcohol fuels research and development, would be eliminated. The difficulties of combining computerized systems of DOE and Commerce would likely be substantial since they are not currently compatible.

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