DOE data system increasing risk of fraud, abuse — IG

By Christian Robles | 03/21/2024 07:09 AM EDT

The inspector general said new programs from the Inflation Reduction Act and infrastructure law heighten the risk of misused funds.

Department of Energy headquarters in Washington

Department of Energy headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/E&E News

The Department of Energy is falling short in managing its data, increasing the risk of fraud and misuse of federal funds, according to a new audit.

DOE’s Office of Inspector General said new funding from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law and 2022 Inflation Reduction Act heightens the threat to the department from data mismanagement. The IG report said that DOE’s reliance on contractors and a lack of common standards for handling information on things such as grants and rebates means important details could go unreported or get lost in a sea of databases.

“This will ultimately result in unidentified fraud, waste, and abuse of the Department’s resources,” the report said.


It noted that the IRA, infrastructure law and Puerto Rico Energy Resilience Fund authorized $99 billion in additional DOE spending and imposed aggressive timelines, adding to the urgency for the department to track recipients of federal cash.