Information on the Department of Energy's Budgets for Enforcing Its Petroleum Allocation and Pricing Regulations and Its Process for Distributing Oil Company Overcharge Refunds

RCED-84-52: Published: Apr 11, 1984. Publicly Released: May 11, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Economic Regulatory Administration's (ERA) budget for enforcing the Department of Energy's (DOE) petroleum allocation and pricing regulations. In addition, GAO included information on the Office of Hearing and Appeals' (OHA) fiscal year 1981-84 budgets and the DOE process for resolving the cases involving funds collected from oil companies in settling alleged violations of DOE petroleum allocation and pricing regulations.

GAO found that ERA has consistently set overly optimistic objectives for its compliance program that have resulted in proposed budgets' being understated. In addition, it found that the OHA fiscal year 1984 workload was greater than anticipated in its budget submission because of the unanticipated referral by ERA of 453 oil company overcharge refund cases in October 1983. Finally, GAO found that DOE has made slow progress in resolving cases involving funds collected from oil companies because of higher priority work coupled with the complexity and late referral of the cases.

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