Environmental Funding:

DOE Needs To Better Identify Funds for Hazardous Waste Compliance

RCED-88-62: Published: Dec 16, 1987. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) funding for activities to comply with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA).

GAO found that DOE cannot: (1) specifically identify budgeted or expended RCRA and CERCLA funds, since they are not part of its defense operations allotment; (2) demonstrate compliance with Executive Order 12088, which requires agencies to ensure that they request sufficient funds for compliance with environmental standards; (3) demonstrate proper internal controls over the funding; and (4) promptly respond to congressional concerns regarding its environmental funding. GAO noted that, although DOE has taken some action to separately budget and account for RCRA and CERCLA funds, these efforts will not identify funding for a major portion of its compliance activities.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOE has modified its financial accounting system to track all aspects of the "Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Five-Year Plan", including all RCRA/CERCLA funding, beginning with FY 1990. The recommendation predated the 5-year plan, but since that plan will drive future budgets, this should satisfy the recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should specifically budget and account for all DOE RCRA and CERCLA funds. This effort should include: (1) identifying the funds in future DOE budgets and highlighting them to the Congress; and (2) creating separate accounts in the DOE accounting system to track expended RCRA and CERCLA dollars.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy


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