Environmental Protection Agency: Progress Has Been Made in Grant Reforms, but Weaknesses Remain in Implementation and Accountability

GAO-06-774T Published: May 18, 2006. Publicly Released: May 18, 2006.
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has faced challenges for many years in managing its grants, which constitute over one-half of the agency's budget, or about $4 billion annually. EPA awards grants through 93 programs to such recipients as state and local governments, tribes, universities, and nonprofit organizations. In response to concerns about its ability to manage grants effectively, EPA issued its 5-year Grants Management Plan in 2003, with performance measures and targets. This testimony is based on GAO's May 2006 report, Grants Management: EPA Has Made Progress in Grant Reforms but Needs to Address Weaknesses in Implementation and Accountability (GAO-06-625). GAO examined EPA's progress in implementing its grant reforms in four key areas: (1) awarding grants, (2) monitoring grantees, (3) obtaining results from grants, and (4) managing grant staff and resources.

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