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related to Recovery Act spending and allows for the reporting of potential fraud, waste, and abuse.

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Lessons Learned from the Recovery Act

​After conducting more than 70 reviews, investigations, and evaluations of Recovery programs and activities, the Department of Energy’s Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman has identified multiple successes and failures that collectively constitute a “teachable moment” for the way the agency conducts future business.

In a recent special report that reviewed the findings of all the previous Recovery-related reports to date, the DOE IG noted that the lessons learned could be applied to all DOE’s programs, not just those involving the economic stimulus.

Positive findings:

  • DOE Recovery program managers took extra care to minimize financial and operational risks
  • Program officials developed and implemented new practices to aid in the accounting and reporting for Recovery Act activities
  • Managers acted quickly to hire and/or reallocate employees to administer and monitor Recovery Act activities
  • Many actions carried out by agency managers were the result of proactive, anticipatory efforts

Friedman noted that some successes could have been stronger had agency managers taken further actions. In addition, certain problem areas existed.

Issues of concern:

  • Early on, DOE did not determine whether existing IT systems would be able to process the increased data associated with Recovery Act programs
  • Workload assignments were not always distributed evenly or reasonably among employees
  • DOE didn’t always inform the public as effectively or fully as possible about what to expect from certain programs, such as the Weatherization Assistance Program

“In our view, the Recovery Act and its implementation and execution by the Department, both the positives and the negatives, represent an important ‘teachable moment’ which should be used to inform and aid in the on-going transition to a post-Recovery Act environment,” the special report concluded. “Of even greater importance, the issues raised can be utilized by all programs and sites to enhance Department operational effectiveness going forward.”

Click the map to see all Department of Energy's  Recovery projects, including the ones reviewed by the DOE IG.

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