WASHINGTON – Congressional investigators say management of oil and gas resources on public lands and waters is the newest high risk area of the U.S. government.
The Government Accountability Office said the Interior Department is unable to obtain reliable information on the production and sale of oil and gas on federal lands. As a result, the agency cannot be sure it is collecting the appropriate amount of royalties on this production.
Revenue generated from federal oil and gas production is one of the largest nontax sources of government funds, including $9 billion in the 2009 financial year.
The report, obtained by The Associated Press, also said the department has had persistent problems in hiring, training and retraining sufficient staff to manage operations on federal lands and waters.