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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long faced problems managing its grants, which constitute over one-half of the agency's annual budget, or about $4 billion. EPA uses grants to implement its programs to protect human health and the environment and awards grants to thousands of 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 grants resources. This testimony, based on GAO's August 2003 report Grants Management: EPA Needs to Strengthen Efforts to Address Persistent Challenges, GAO-03-846, focuses on the (1) major challenges EPA faces in managing its grants and how it has addressed these challenges in the past, and (2) extent to which EPA's recently issued policies and grants management plan address these challenges.

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