The Interior Department will dole out $43.38 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to all 50 states and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects, Secretary Sally Jewell announced July 8.
Four agencies will take charge of creating financial management services to be used governmentwide, said the Office of Management and Budget in a May 2 blog post. The Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, Interior and Transportation will lead the administration's efforts to use shared services for future financial management systems across the government as part of President Obama's new management agenda, the post says.
Accumulated vegetation, the proximity of communities to wildfire-prone areas, human-caused ignitions and the high cost of response emerge as the four national challenges identified in wildfire strategy the Obama administration released earlier this month.
The Interior Department is develping an agencywide way of looking at the the environmental impacts of developing federal land rather than continuing the reactive, case-by-case approach the agency has employed in the past. The DOI is responsible for the conservation and management of fish and wildlife resources on federal lands including the impact when developing those lands. It wants an approach to project planning that can be used across its 9 bureaus.
The Interior Department doesn't know if it's getting fair market value for the minerals it permits private firms to remove from federal lands because staffers are using outdated price lists, an April 3 DOI inspector general report says. DOI's Bureau of Land Management manages the sale of mineral materials on federal lands and is responsible for ensuring that the government obtains adequate compensation for the sales of minerals.
Agencies with large property holdings are failing to assess security risks at their combined 52,000 facilities across the country, a recently released Government Accountability Office report says.
House Natural Resources members criticized President Obama's budget request for the Interior Department for not prioritizing programs or making spending reductions.
Indian Affairs programs received a 1.2 percent increase over the enacted amoun this year in President Obama's fiscal 2015 budget request.
Agencies have recourse to alternative funding methods for federal building projects such as property swaps and space offered for lease when appropriations aren't available, says a March 12 Government Accountability Office report.
Federal oil and gas inspectors will likely always earn less than the private sector engineers they oversee, DOI Deputy Assistant Secretary Ned Farquhar told the House Natural Resources Committee subcommittee on energy and mineral resources in a Feb. 27 hearing. Office of Personnel Management data show the fiscal year 2012 attrition rate for petroleum engineers at BLM was more than 20 percent.