Department of the Interior: Major Management Challenges
The Department of the Interior (Interior) is responsible for managing much of the nation's vast natural resources. Its agencies implement an array of programs intended to protect these resources for future generations while also allowing certain uses of them, such as recreation and oil and gas development. In some cases, Interior is authorized to collect royalties and fees for these uses. Over the years, GAO has reported on management challenges at Interior, which are largely characterized by the struggle to balance the demand for greater use of its resources with the need to conserve and protect them. Furthermore, given the government's long-term fiscal challenges, Interior faces difficult choices in balancing its responsibilities. This testimony highlights some of the major management challenges facing Interior today. It is based on prior GAO reports.