Environmental Protection Agency: Problems Persist in Effectively Managing Grants

GAO-03-628T Published: Jun 11, 2003. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 2003.
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Over the years, EPA has had persistent problems in managing its grants. Grants constituted one-half of the agency's annual budget, or about $4.2 billion in fiscal year 2002. EPA uses grants to implement its programs to protect human health and the environment and awards them to over 3,300 recipients, including state and local governments, tribes, universities, and nonprofit organizations. EPA's ability to efficiently and effectively accomplish its mission largely depends on how well it manages its grant resources and builds in accountability. Since 1996, GAO and EPA's Office of Inspector General have repeatedly reported on EPA's problems in managing its grants. Because these problems have persisted, in January 2003, GAO cited grants management as a major management challenge for EPA. GAO is currently reviewing EPA's efforts to improve grants management at the request of the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Representative Anne Northup. For this testimony GAO is reporting on results of its previously issued reports and on the grants problems EPA faces, past actions to address these problems, and recently issued EPA policies and a 5-year grants management plan to address its long-standing grants management problems.

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