Report #20-N-0231, July 21, 2020
The OIG is required by statute to prepare an annual report summarizing what the OIG considers the “most serious management and performance challenges facing the agency.” The EPA’s FYs 2020–2021 Top Management Challenges documents and discusses the top risks and challenges facing EPA leadership through FY 2021. Identifying and resolving top management challenges are essential to the EPA’s protection of human health and the environment.
To identify the top management challenges facing the EPA, the OIG conducted a formal survey of EPA leadership and discussed management challenges in outreach meetings with Agency offices. The OIG also considered, among other sources, the previous work of the OIG and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, was well as public statements by EPA leaders to the press and Congress. Finally, the OIG solicited comments and suggestions through the EPA’s Office of Chief Financial Officer. As a result, the OIG identified eight significant management challenges facing the EPA over the next fiscal year. The challenges include:
- Maintaining human health and environmental protections, business operations, and employee safety during the coronavirus pandemic and future natural disasters.
- Improving oversight of and the results received from states, territories, and tribal environmental programs that implement EPA programs.
- Communicating risks effectively and with sufficient information so that individuals and communities can make informed decisions to protect their health and the environment.
- Integrating and leading environmental justice across the agency and government.
The EPA’s top challenges are not listed by order of importance or magnitude; instead, the OIG views all eight challenges as critically important to EPA operations in the next year. These challenges also will be an important part of guiding the work that the OIG will undertake.