GAO, IG, and Related Performance Audit Reports
The mission of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to promote excellence, integrity and accountability in the programs, operations, and management of the Department of the Interior. The OIG conducts investigations and audits across the Department and prepares reports to document its findings and recommendations. In addition, they have developed a hotline for reporting evidences of waste, fraud, or abuse to the Inspector General.
Government Accountability Office (GAO)
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog", GAO investigates how the Federal Government spends taxpayer dollars. In addition to conducting inspections and audits across the government, GAO identifies high risk areas requiring Agency improvement plans. Currently, DOI has one activity identified on the GAO High Risk Report - Management of Federal Oil and Gas Resources.
GAO identified challenges in the Department of the Interior's management of oil and gas on leased Federal lands and waters; specifically, Interior (1) does not have reasonable assurance that it is collecting its share of revenue from oil and gas produced on Federal lands and (2) continues to experience problems in hiring, training, and retaining sufficient staff to provide oversight and management of oil and gas operations on Federal lands and waters.
To provide appropriate agency priority and attention to addressing this risk, Interior created an agency priority goal to improve the management of Federal oil and gas resources.The goal statement is as follows, By September 30, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will increase the completion of inspections of Federal and Indian high risk oil and gas cases by 9 percent over FY 2011 levels, which is equivalent to covering as much as 95% of the potential high risk cases.
By focusing on high risk producing cases, rather than randomly selecting producing cases for inspection, BLM's resources are more efficiently used. The high risk cases account for about 13 percent of the total cases but account for over 60 percent of the oil and gas produced on Federal and Indian lands.
This effort is a component of addressing the deficiencies identified in the GAO High Risk Report, which identified the areas for needed improvement including:
·ensuring data on production verification and royalties are consistent and reliable,
·meeting goals for oil and gas verification inspections, and
·ensuring that informal employee training is supported by formalized training courses offered on a consistent basis.
In addressing the GAO High Risk Report, BLM will also be engaged in:
1)Revising Onshore Oil and Gas Orders 3, 4 and 5.These onshore orders cover how oil and gas is measured and stored in a secure facility to prevent theft and mishandling of production.
2)Revising regulations to determine the royalty rate on oil and gas.The BLM will publish revised regulations that will determine the royalty rate and require a review of the royalty rates at least every five years.
3)Reinstating training for managers on oil and gas operations. The BLM will develop a training course that will cover the responsibilities of a manager of oil and gas operations.Within a year of development, the goal is to have all managers with oil and gas responsibilities to have taken this course.