The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has faced persistent challenges in managing its grants, which, at about $4 billion annually constitute over one-half of the agency's total budget. EPA awards grants to thousands of recipients to implement its programs to protect human health and the environment. Given the size and diversity of EPA's programs, its ability to efficiently and effectively accomplish its mission largely depends on how well it manages its grant resources and builds accountability into its efforts. In our comprehensive report on EPA's management of its grants, released last week, we found that EPA continues to face four key grants management challenges despite past efforts to address them--(1) selecting the most qualified grant applicants, (2) effectively overseeing grantees, (3) measuring the results of grants, and (4) effectively managing its grant staff and resources. The report also discusses EPA's latest competition and oversight policies and its new 5-year plan to improve the management of its grants. This testimony, based on our report, focuses on the extent to which EPA's latest policies and plan address (1) awarding grants competitively, (2) improving oversight of grantees, and (3) holding staff and managers accountable for fulfilling their grants management responsibilities.
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