Environmental Protection: Allocation of Operating Expenses to Strategic Goals and Objectives

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-04-20.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States
GAO   General Accounting  Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Resources, Community,      and
      Economic Development       Division


      April 20,1999

      The Honorable Ken Culvert
      Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy
       and the Environment
      Committee on Science
      House of Representatives

      Subject:         Environmental Protection: Allocation of ODerating Exoenses to
                       Strategic Goals and Obiectives

      Dear Mr. Chairman:
      Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides to congressional
      committees a budget justification for requested appropriations for the forthcoming
      year. This justification supplements the President’s budget submitted to the Congress
      by providing additional details and shows funding levels for the previous fiscal year-
      Your Subcommittee and others use the justification in deliberating EPA’s budgets,
      programs, and activities. EPA’s budget justifications for fiscal years 1999 and 2000
      differed significantly from its justifications for fiscal year 1998 and prior years because
      they were organized according to the agency’s strategic goals and objectives (e.g.,
       Clean Air: Reduce Emissions of Air Toxics). These goals and objectives were
      established in the strategic plan EPA prepared to meet the requirements of the
       Government Performance and Results Act. In contrast, the fiscal year 1998 budget
      justification was organized according to EPA’s program offices and components (e.g.,
      Office of Air and Radiation: Air Toxics).

      In our testimony of March 18,1999, we reported that EPA implemented several
       changes to its fiscal year 2000 justification to solve problems experienced in
       comparing requested Science and Technology funds fos fiscal years 1998 and 1999.*
      We also reported, however, that EPA made changes to the objectives in the fiscal year
      2000 justification for Science and Technology funds without information to adequately
      allow comparisons of requested amounts for fiscal year 2000 with fiscal year 1999
      requested and enacted amounts. One such change in the fiscal year 2000 budget
      justification was the allocation of $86.6 million of Science and Technology funds from

      ‘Environmental Protection Acencv: Difficulties in Comwrina Annual Budgets for Science and Technoloev
      (GAO/T-RCED-99120, Mar. 18,1999).

      1    GAO/RCED-99-144R Allocation      of Operating Expenses to Strategic Goals and Objectives

the “Enable Research on Innovative Approaches to Current and Future Environmental
Problems” objective in fiscal year 1999to several other objectives-generally disclosed
but not specifically identified-m the fiscal year 2000 budget justification-

As a result, you requested that we show how the $86.6 million shown for this objective
for fiscal year 1999 was distributed among specific objectives in the fiscal year 2000
budget request.

Allocation   of ODeratiw    ExDenses    to Goals and Objectives

In the fiscal year 1999 budget justification, under the strategic goal “Sound Science,
Improved Understanding of Environmental Risks and Greater Innovation to Address
Environmental Problems,” EPA requested $86.6 million for the objective “Enable
Research on Innovative Approaches to Current and Future Environmental Programs.”
In the fiscal year 2000 budget justification, EPA marked this objective as “Not in Use.”
The fiscal year 2000 justification stated that the objective for fiscal year 1999 included
the amounts for operating expenses and working capital for the Office of Research and
Development. In the fiscal year 2000 budget justification, EPA allocated the requested
amounts for this objective among other goals and objectives to more properly reflect
costs of the agency’s objectives but did not indicate which specific objectives received
the allocation. Guidance from the Office of Management and Budget does not require
 agencies to develop or provide these types of crosswalks in their justifications from
 one year to the next. EPA does not provide crosswalks unless asked to by the Office of
 Management and Budget or congressional committees.

At our request, EPA’s Office of Chief F’inancial Officer provided us with information to
link the operating expenses allocated to the specific goals and objectives for the 1999
requested amounts. As shown in table 1, EPA allocated the $86.6 million of operating
expenses to 7 strategic goals and further segmented the amounts into 15 of its 41
strategic objectives. The table shows (1) the original budget request, including the
“Enable Research on Innovative Approaches to Current and Future Environmental
Problems” objective for fiscal year 1999 before the allocation of the operating
expenses to strategic goals and objectives (shown in bold on the second page of table
 1); (2) the allocation of the operating expenses to the strategic goals and objectives;
 and (3) the fiscal year 1999 amounts with the operating expenses allocated, as shown
 in the fiscal year 2000 budget justification.

 2     GAO/RCED-99-144R Allocation of Operating Expenses to Strategic Goals and Objectives

Table 1: Allocation of $86.6 Million of Fiscal Year 1999 Operating Expenses for Science and Technology by Goal and Objective

                                                                                                          Operating expenses     Revised fiscal year 1999

Strategic goals                Strategic objectives
                                                                      I    Origin@ fiscal year
                                                                          1999 budget request
                                                                                                 allocated to fiscal year 1999
                                                                                                               budget request
                                                                                                                                 request, which includes
                                                                                                                                     operating expenses
Goal 1: Clean air              Attain national ambient air quality
                               standards for ozone and particulate
                               matter                                           $115862,600
                               Reduce emissions of air toxics                     17,178,400
                               Attain national ambient air quality
                               standards for CO, S02, N02, and
                               lead                                                   113.200                               0                    113,200
                               Acid rain                                            4,000,000                               0                  4,000,000
                               Safe drinking water, fish and
                               recreational waters                                37,699,300                       8,129,200 1               45,828,500
                               Conserve and enhance nation’s
                               water                                               11,570,700                      4,028,600                 15,599,300
                               Reduce loadings and air deposition                   6,065,700                      1,281,400                  7,347,100
                               Reduce agricultural pesticides’risk                  2,998,200                              0                  2,998,200
                               Reduce the use on food of pesticides
                               not meeting standards                                1,451,800                                0                 1,451,800
Goal 4: Preventing pollution
and reducing risks in
communities, homes,
workplaces, and ecosystems     Healthier indoor air                                 4,186,700                        798,200                   4,984,900
                               Reduce public and ecosystem
                               exposure to pesticides                                 863,600                                0                   863.600
                               Safe handing and use of commercial
                               chemicals and microorganisms                         9,333,300                      3,410,200                 12,743,500

                               Reduce or control risks to human       I
                               health                                 1             5,935,600                        825,600                   6,761,200
                               Prevent, reduce, or respond to
                               releases.. spills,
                                           .      accidents, and      I
                               emergencies                            I             8,203,700                      1,025,700                   9,229,400

3    GAO/RCED-99-144R Allocation   of Operating Expenses to Strategic Goals and Objectives

1 Goal 6: Reduction of global
  and cross-environmental risks    Climate change                                   $67,406,500    $2,316,400     $69,722,900
  Goal 7: Expansion of
 Americans’ right to know          Enhance ability to protect public
  about their environment          health                                           $18,648,300    $1,573,000     $20,221,300
 Goal 8: Sound science,
  improved understanding of
 environmental risks and
 greater innovation to address      Research for ecosystem assessment
 environmental problems            and restoration                                   84537,200     20,983,800     105,521,OOO.
                                   Research for human health risk
                                   assessment                                        47,556,lOO     9,445,100      57,001,200
                                   Research to detect emerging risk
                                   issues                                            49,591,lOO     6,252,200      55,843,300
                                   Pollution prevention and new
                                   technology for environmental
                                   protection                                        44,657,OOO     7,858,600      52,515,600
                                   Enable research on innovative
                                   approaches to current and future
                                   environmental problems                           86,614,300    (86,614,300)              0

 Goal 9: A credible deterrent to
 pollution and greater             Enforcement tools to reduce
 compliance with the law           noncompliance                                      8,662,800              0      8,662,800
                                   Increase use of auditing, self-policing
                                   policies                                              97,900             0          97,900
 Goal 10: Effective                Management services,
 management                        administrative, and stewardship                     226,000              0         226,000

 rotal                                                                            $633,460,000              0    $633,460,000

Source: GAO’s analysis of EPA’s data.

4        GAOLRCED-99-144R Allocation   of Operating Expenses to Strategic Goals and Objectives

Agency Comments

We provided copies of a draft of this report to EPA for review and comment. EPA
generally agreed that the report provided a good characterization of the crosswalk
needed to compare the amounts that had been requested for fiscal year 1999 with the
amounts requested for fiscal year 2000. EPA suggested changes to the report to help
ensure accurate information, and we made changes as appropriate.

Scope and Methodology

We performed our work at EPA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. We reviewed the
Justification of Appropriation Estimates for the Committees on Appropriations prepared
by EPA for fiscal year 1999 and the Fiscal Year 2000 Annual Performance Plan and
Congressional Justification. We also met with EPA officials and reviewed additional
documentation prepared by the agency. We did not independently verify the data
provided by EPA We conducted our review from March through April 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan
no further distibution of this report for 30 days. At that time, we will send copies to
Senator Ted Stevens, Senator Robert C. Byrd, Senator Christopher S. Bond, Senator
Barbara A Mikulski, Senator Fred Thompson, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Senator
John H. Chafee, Senator MT S. Baucus, Representative James Sensenbrenner, Jr.,
Representative George E. Brown, Representative Jerry F. Costello, Representative C. W.
(Bill) Young, Representative David R. Obey, Representative James T. Walsh,
Representative Alan B. Mollohan, Representative Dan Burton, Representative Henry A.
Waxman, Representative John R. Kasich, and Representative John M. Spat& Jr., in their
capacity as Chair or Ranking Minority Member of Senate and House Committees and
Subcommittees. We will also send copies of this report to the Honorable Carol M.
Browner, Administrator of EPA Copies wiIl also be made available to others upon

5   GAOLRCED-99-144R Allocation of Operating Expenses to Strategic Goals and Objectives

Please call me at (202) 512-6111if you or your staff have any questions. Major
contributors to this report were Everett 0. Pace and John A. Wanska.

Sincerely yours,

David G. Wood
Associate Director, Environmental
 Protection Issues


 6          GAO/WED-99-144R Allocation of Operating Expenses to Strategic Goals and Objectives
Ordering    Information

The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free.
Additional  copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the
following address, accompanied by a check or money order
made out to the Superintendent    of Documents, when
necessary. VISA and Mastercard     credit cards are accepted, also.
Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address
are discounted 25 percent.

Orders by mail:

U.S. General Accounting    Office
P.O. Box 37050
Washington, DC 20013

or visit:

Room 1100
700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW)
U.S. General Accounting  Office
Washington, DC

Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 512-6000
or by using fax number (202) 512-6061, or TDD (202) 512-2537.

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and
testimony.   To receive facsimile copies of the daily list or any
list from the past 30 days, please call (202) 512-6000 using a
touchtone phone. A recorded menu wiB provide information          on
how to obtain these lists.

For information on how to access GAO reports on the INTERNET,
send an e-mail message with “info” in the body to:


or visit GAO’s World Wide Web Home Page at:

United States
General Accounting Office                    BulkRa@
Washington, D.C. 20548-0001            Postage & Fees Paid
                                   I     Permit No. GlOO     I
Official Business
Penalty for Private    Use $300

Address   Correction   Requested