This report provides information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) management and oversight of project grants. Specifically, GAO examines (1) the dollar amounts of project grants EPA awarded in fiscal years 1996 through 1999 and the program activities they funded, by grantee type; (2) how the activities funded by the project grants align with the Government Performance and Results Act goals and objectives identified by EPA; and (3) the extent to which EPA uses its authority to deviate from relevant regulations in awarding grants. GAO found that EPA awarded about 17,000 project grants totaling more than $2.8 billion in fiscal years 1996 through 1999. Five categories accounted for nearly 80 percent of all project grant funds (1) general investigations, surveys or studies involving air and water quality; (2) research; (3) studies and cleanups of specific hazardous waste sites; (4) nonprofit organizations; and (5) training activities. EPA identified about 82 percent of the $1.4 billion in project grants awarded in fiscal years 1999 and 2000 as supporting four strategic goals under the Results Act. GAO found this to be the case in 93 of 100 grants reviewed. EPA used its authority to deviate from regulations in awarding 25 of the 100 grants GAO reviewed.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Environmental Protection Agency||To ensure that EPA's fellowship regulations are consistent with the actual practices, the Administrator, EPA, should direct the Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management to include in future amendments to its fellowship regulations the funding amounts, time periods, and payment methods that will meet the needs of the Science to Achieve Results fellowship grant program.|