Actions Needed to Correct Long-Standing Contract Management Problems

T-RCED-92-78: Published: Jul 8, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to correct long-standing contract management problems in the Superfund program. GAO noted that: (1) EPA failed to examine contractor budgets, bills, and document price negotiations; (2) in the absence of adequate cost controls and effective contractor oversight, Superfund money can be wasted; (3) EPA has not identified the need for indemnification agreements, resulting in increased Superfund liability; (4) potential conflicts of interest can arise because many of the contractors that help EPA select and implement clean-up remedies also can work for the parties responsible for paying for cleanups; (5) a root cause of chronic contract management problems appears to be insufficient followup to actually correct identified problems; and (6) in response to recommendations in GAO reports, EPA acknowledged contract management problems and strengthened cost controls and management attention to contract oversight.

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