Ineffective Information Management Impedes EPA's Enforcement Mission and Cross-Media Initiatives

T-IMTEC-91-16: Published: Jun 19, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to develop information systems to meet enforcement users' needs for information that cut across such environmental media as air, water, solid waste, pesticides, and toxic substances. GAO noted that: (1) two of the three mission-critical information systems EPA was developing to provide the capability to collect data for enforcement, were not sound or consistent with federal guidance or EPA information systems development policies and procedures; (2) EPA made little progress in developing the agency-wide information architecture it needed to guide the development of data assets and information systems; (3) EPA has not implemented the data standards, data dictionary, or management processes essential to supporting enforcement users' cross-media needs; (4) EPA lacked an effective mechanism to provide for information resources management (IRM) planning and budgeting to support cross-media initiatives; (5) although EPA identified a need for substantially increased funding for its cross-media systems development and data management activities, those resources remained uncommitted; and (6) EPA failed to properly develop information systems for cross-media enforcement and effectively address impediments to achieving cross-media information.

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