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Offshore Oil and Gas Oversight Removed from GAO High Risk List

The U.S. Government Accountability Office issued its 2021 High-Risk List, which catalogs programs they deem at high risk of fraud, waste, or abuse, or are in need of transformation. The agency publishes this report every two years at the beginning of a congressional session.

In 2017, GAO added Offshore Oil and Gas Oversight to the list due to findings on environmental and safety performance, which caused concern about oversight offshore oil and gas activities.

In the 2021 report, the GAO narrowed the scope of Management of Federal Oil and Gas Resources by removing the Restructuring of Offshore Oil and Gas Oversight program after the program resolved long-standing discrepancies. In this year’s report, GAO said the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) implemented reforms improving offshore oil and gas oversight.

The GAO’s report specifically indicates that BSEE led a change management initiative, encompassing more than 180 actions, to reform offshore oil and gas oversight. For each action, BSEE identified specific steps, completion target dates, and parties responsible. Further, BSEE provided regular status updates and developed a performance management dashboard to help the bureau assess the effectiveness of reforms.

Scott Angelle, Former Director of BSEE, led the work to remove the Restructuring of Offshore Oil and Gas Oversight from the high-risk list. Angelle briefed the Council during its annual Washington D.C. Fly-In, and the Council has engaged with BSEE on matters related to offshore production.

For more information about federal policy and the Council’s advocacy efforts, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.

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