- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in September on the funding for climate change studies. The agency reported that funding increased from $2.35 billion in 1993 to $5.09 in 2004, or 117 percent.
Adjusted for inflation, it was determined that the increase in spending was 55 percent. However, the GAO further stated that certain conditions prevented the agency from actually determining if spending had increased as reported.
The GAO noted that changes in reporting methods used at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as well as the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), made comparing funding data over time unclear. Further, while the EPA and the DOE expected those participating in their programs to achieve certain steps within general time frames, the DOE lacked a system for tracking progress and both agencies lacked a written policy for participants not meeting goals. There was also some confusion as both agencies drew data from each others' programs, and it became impossible to determine quantifiable results due to the overlap.
The GAO recommended actions to improve OMB and CCSP reporting, and suggested the EPA and DOE develop written policies for participants not meeting program expectations. The report also stated that all four agencies have since taken steps to implement the recommendations, but the GAO has not yet been able to determine the extent to which they have done so.