Energy Downsizing:

While DOE Is Achieving Budget Cuts, It Is Too Soon to Gauge Effects

RCED-96-154: Published: May 13, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress in implementing its Strategic Alignment and Downsizing Initiative, focusing on whether: (1) the savings projected under the initiative have been achieved; (2) additional savings can be achieved; and (3) DOE can reduce its current and future expenditures.

GAO found that: (1) DOE will save $221 million under the planned initiative; (2) DOE plans to expand its first-year savings through additional budget reductions that will total $1.7 billion; (3) DOE plans to meet savings targets by reducing its federal staffing levels, travel budget, and support services contracts, improving information resources management, streamlining national environmental policies, and reengineering its mission; (4) it is unclear whether DOE will be able to reduce certain costs because many of its budget plans are in the early stages; (5) DOE management needs to be diligent in validating its cost savings estimates because reductions are not always occurring as planned; (6) DOE could achieve greater cost savings by more broadly applying certain aspects of the initiative; and (7) DOE could achieve these additional savings by encouraging its contractors to sell more of its assets, including DOE managers and contractors in its information management strategy and consolidating transportation and packaging functions.

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