National Park Service:

Better Management and Broader Restructuring Efforts Are Needed

T-RCED-95-101: Published: Feb 9, 1995. Publicly Released: Feb 9, 1995.

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GAO discussed the National Park Service's (NPS) efforts to restructure its organization and improve its financial and program data, internal controls, and performance measures. GAO noted that: (1) NPS does not have adequate financial and program data to measure the extent of the problems associated with resource preservation, measure the effectiveness of its preservation efforts, or cost-effectively allocate its resources to the problems that pose the greatest risk; (2) NPS needs adequate data, controls, and performance measures because its organization is highly decentralized and its individual unit managers are autonomous; (3) NPS estimates that its funding shortfall for maintenance and reconstruction will range between $2 billion and $4 billion; (4) Congress is considering giving NPS more discretion in generating additional revenues by increasing park entrance, user, and concession fees; (5) although the NPS restructuring plan addresses the need to meet the demands of an expanding system, growing numbers of visitors, and increasingly complex resource protection problems, the plan neither attempts to improve operations through interagency collaboration nor considers which functions could be eliminated or turned over to state and local governments; and (6) NPS needs to work closely with Congress and other federal land management agencies to develop a coordinated interagency strategy.

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