On January 29, 2001, the President established the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG)--a group of cabinet-level and other senior administration officials, chaired by the Vice President--to gather information, deliberate, and recommend a national energy policy. The group presented its final report to the President in May 2001. GAO was asked to (1) describe the process used by the NEPDG to develop the National Energy Policy report, including whom the group met with and what topics were discussed and (2) determine the costs associated with that process. Although appointed NEPDG Chair, the Vice President elected not to respond to GAO's request for certain factual NEPDG information. Accordingly, as authorized by GAO's access-torecords statute, and after exhausting efforts to achieve a resolution and following the processes specified in that statute, GAO filed suit in U.S. District Court to obtain the information. The district court later dismissed GAO's suit on jurisdictional grounds, without reaching the merits of GAO's right to audit and evaluate NEPDG activities or to obtain access to NEPDG records. For a variety of reasons, GAO decided not to appeal the district court decision. DOE, Interior, and EPA reviewed the draft report and chose not to comment. OVP declined an offer to review the draft and comment.
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