Status of Superfund Management Information Systems

RCED-86-98FS: Published: Feb 28, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to improve its management information systems for the Superfund enforcement and remedial programs.

GAO noted that: (1) the tracking component of the Superfund system is not widely used because of slow and difficult data entry and retrieval and difficulties in modifying standard output records for specific regional needs; and (2) regional personnel do not input data as required and, as a result, the information contained in the Superfund system is often unreliable. GAO found that: (1) EPA is in the initial stages of an effort to develop a comprehensive management information system for all Superfund programs; (2) EPA has instituted a new manual system for tracking compliance with consent decrees; (3) as of February 1986, EPA had not developed a formal policy for collecting and reporting information on state enforcement activities, but it had taken action to require regional offices to report state enforcement information; and (4) EPA has implemented a national, automated management information system to track remedial actions. GAO also found that: (1) EPA has developed an integrated reporting system that generates reports on the status of all Superfund activities at individual waste sites by drawing information from other management information systems; (2) the Information Management Task Group has proposed a comprehensive database which would be accessible to headquarters and regional offices and would be used for program evaluation, planning, and management information; and (3) EPA has initiated a pilot project to develop an automated site management process which would identify critical milestones.

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