Energy R&D:

DOE's Prioritization and Budgeting Process for Renewable Energy Research

T-RCED-92-57: Published: Apr 30, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Department of Energy's (DOE) planning and budgeting processes for renewable energy technology research and development. GAO noted that: (1) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provides DOE with overall policy and budgetary direction, including budget planning targets which are based primarily on the preceding year's budget; (2) using the preceding year's budget request as a guide, DOE allocates OMB spending targets among DOE program offices and the Secretary meets with each of the Assistant Secretaries to review program office priorities and funding levels; (3) the Secretary sends the approved budget proposal to OMB for review before it goes to Congress; (4) starting with its fiscal year 1993 budget request, the Secretary has directed the Office of Policy, Planning and Analysis to rank civilian energy research and development activities according to their projected contributions to National Energy Strategy objectives; (6) within the Office of Conservation and Renewable Energy, the Assistant Secretary determines budget allocations developed by each of the five Conservation and Renewable Energy offices; (7) the offices base their proposals on a process that incorporates strategic and multi-year program plans and the views of national laboratories, renewable energy industries, and end-users of renewable energy; and (8) although the Office of Conservation and Renewable Energy has no written procedures for ensuring compliance with congressional spending directives, program officials make provisions for following through on the directives.

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