Recently Released Report

U.S. Department of the Interior's Offshore Renewable Energy Program


The Office of Inspector General (OIG) evaluated the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Offshore Renewable Energy Program to review ongoing and proposed projects, budget and resource planning, the process for establishing renewable energy fees, and inspection and enforcement program planning.

DOI received regulatory authority for offshore renewable energy—which includes offshore wind energy, ocean wave energy, and ocean current energy—from the Energy Policy Act of 2005. DOI assigned the responsibilities for oversight and management of the Program to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) collects fees and revenues associated with offshore renewable energy.

Our evaluation found that the Program does not have updated regulations and detailed standard operating procedures for internal processes. We also found that ONRR does not have documented policies and procedures for its processes and responsibilities regarding rental payments and operating fees. In addition, we found that Secretarial Order 3299 was amended to place the inspection and enforcement activities for renewable energy within BOEM as opposed to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, where it was initially placed to ensure the separation of duties.

As offshore renewable energy becomes increasingly more viable, DOI has an opportunity at the outset to improve management oversight and accountability by updating its regulations, documenting policies and procedures, and ensuring that the Program has the proper separation of duties.

Read the complete report here