The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) manages significant financial assets, including contracts, financial assistance awards (grants and cooperative agreements), as well as property and other resources. Within this broad area, we focus primarily on grants and contracts, CARES Act oversight, and oversight of spending under the Great American Outdoors Act.
Our work in financial management has focused on grants and contracts. Annually, the DOI distributes about $12 million in new contracts and grants. We continue to identify high-risk issues regarding pre-award processes, award oversight, and post-award monitoring. Our previous audit and investigative work found that many of these funds are at high risk of fraud and mismanagement due to inadequate internal controls and oversight over the awarding and monitoring of these acquisition vehicles.
In 2020, we added CARES Act oversight to our financial management portfolio.
An emerging priority area for us in oversight of spending under the Great American Outdoors Act. The DOI oversees approximately 20 percent of the Related Challenge Areas: land in the United States, which serves nearly 500 million visitors per year. The Great American Outdoors Act became law in August 2020. It is intended to help address the backlog of deferred maintenance (i.e., maintenance that has been postponed rather than performed as needed) at national parks, other public lands, and Indian Country schools. It is also intended to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to support conservation of lands and waters and provide recreation opportunities.