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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
19-P-0283
August 27, 2019
Why We Did This Project
The Office of Inspector
General (OIG) performed
this audit to determine whether
the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA)
took action to complete OIG
recommendations regarding the
preservation of email and text
messages, and the improvement
of the agency's Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) process.
We followed up on actions the
agency took to address the
13 recommendations from the
following prior reports:
1)	No. 13-P-0433.
Congressionally Requested
Inquiry Into the EPA's Use
of Private and Alias Email
Accounts.
2)	No. 14-P-0262. Briefing
Report: Review of EPA's
Process to Release
Information Under the
Freedom of Information Act.
3)	No. 17-P-0062.
Congressionally Requested
Audit: EPA Needs to
Improve Processes for
Preserving Text Messages
as Federal Records.
This report addresses the
following:
 Operating efficiently and
effectively.
Address inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391 or
OIG WEBCOMMENTS@epa.oiq.
Follow-Up Audit: EPA Took Steps to Improve
Records Management
What We Found
The EPA completed all corrective actions for	The EPA's FOIA guidance
13 past audit recommendations related to its	needs updating to comply
records management and FOIA practices. Two with federal requirements,
recommendations from Report No. 17-P-0062,
Congressionally Requested Audit: EPA Needs to Improve Processes for
Preserving Text Messages as Federal Records, with corrective action
completion dates of September 30, 2018, were completed by the established
milestone dates during our audit.
In Report No. 14-P-0262, we recommended that the EPA create an agencywide
FOIA policy and procedure. On September 30, 2014, the EPA's Chief
Information Officer (CIO) issued agencywide directives in the form of a FOIA
policy (CIO 2157.1) and a FOIA procedure (CIO 2157-P-01.1), which satisfied
the intent of the original recommendation.
While the EPA completed corrective actions on all of the past recommendations,
the FOIA statute changed in 2016 and the EPA updated its FOIA regulations in
June 2019. Consequently, the EPA's FOIA policy and procedure again require
management review to determine whether updates are needed.
Recommendation and Planned Agency Corrective Actions
We recommend in this report that the General Counsel issue an updated
agency Freedom of Information Act policy and procedure. The agency agreed
with the OIG's findings and recommendation. Management stated it updated the
agency's FOIA regulations on June 26, 2019, and plans to issue a new FOIA
policy and procedure. The agency provided us with December 5, 2019, as the
planned completion date for issuing the FOIA policy and procedure updates. We
consider the recommendation resolved with corrective actions pending.
List of OIG reports.

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