Grants and contracts constitute over two-thirds of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) budget. In fiscal year 2003, EPA awarded $3.6 billion in grants directed by Congress, $656 million in grants awarded at its own discretion, and $934 million in contracts. Under the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977, whether EPA should award a grant or a contract depends upon the principal purpose of the award. In this context, GAO was asked to determine (1) the trends over the last 11 years on EPA's expenditures on discretionary grants and contracts and the types of goods and services obtained by each and (2) the extent to which EPA has and follows procedures for deciding when to use grants or contracts.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Environmental Protection Agency||1. The Administrator of EPA should consider ways to improve project officers' compliance with EPA's requirement to properly document in award decision memorandums the justification for using a grant or a cooperative agreement instead of a contract.|