Environmental, Safety, and Health Oversight of the Department of Energy's Operations

T-RCED-88-30: Published: Mar 31, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1988.

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GAO discussed the adequacy of the Department of Energy's (DOE) efforts to strengthen its environmental, safety, and health oversight of its nuclear defense complex. GAO noted that, to improve internal oversight, DOE: (1) established an advisory committee on nuclear facility safety; (2) increased funding to address environmental and safety problems and strengthen its internal oversight program; and (3) is developing plans which identify safety problems and proposed resolutions. GAO also noted that DOE: (1) has serious, long-standing budgeting and accounting problems with its environmental cleanup funds; (2) has not yet published plans identifying its environmental and safety problems or their potential resolution; and (3) lacks sufficient independent oversight. GAO believes that: (1) DOE should restructure its budget and accounting for environmental cleanup funds to easily identify funds, demonstrate compliance, and provide internal controls; and (2) Congress should consider legislating an outside, independent organization to monitor DOE.

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