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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
20-P-0083
February 18, 2020
Why We Did This Project
The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency Office of
Inspector General conducted
this audit to determine whether
the Border 2020: U.S.-Mexico
Environmental Program
(Border 2020 Program)
management controls are
sufficient to verify that program
activities are completed, are
linked to the accomplishment of
program objectives, and
demonstrate progress toward
achieving the program's
environmental and public
health goals and objectives.
The Border 2020 Program is an
eight-year binational effort
between the United States and
Mexico designed to "protect the
environment and public health
in the U.S.-Mexico Border
region." The Border 2020
Program aims to improve
environmental conditions in
underserved communities and
sensitive populations by
fulfilling its five goals and
associated objectives. The
program's objectives and goals
are implemented by the
environmental authorities of the
United States and Mexico.
This report addresses the
following:
	Operating efficiently and
effectively.
	Partnering with states and
other stakeholders.
Address inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391 or
OIG WEBCOMMENTS@epa.gov.
List of OIG reports.
Management Controls Needed to Verify and
Report Border 2020 Program
Accomplishments
What We Found
The EPA's implementation of the Border 2020
Program management controls is not sufficient
to verify that the EPA Border 2020 Program
activities are completed, are linked to the
accomplishment of program objectives, and
demonstrate progress toward achieving the
program's environmental and public health
goals and objectives. Although a varied set of documents has been developed to
share the contributions of individual projects to Border 2020 Program goals and
objectives, we found that essential documentation on Border 2020 Program
activities was frequently unreliable.
Border 2020 Program
successes in improving
environmental conditions and
public health cannot be fully
known or documented
without stronger
management controls.
According to the EPA, Border 2020 Program reports should provide information
on the status and trends of environmental quality in the U.S.-Mexico border
region using the EPA-determined output-based indicators. However, we found
that the most recent indicator report was developed in 2016 and was only
published as an interim report. The Border 2020 Program is not planning to
create any additional reports on environmental quality at the border because it
lacks sufficient resources.
The EPA's Strategic Plan and the Border 2020 Program Communications
Strategy emphasize sharing information about Border 2020 Program-funded
products, such as reports, studies, videos, and other tools, or environmental
outcomes with its external stakeholders and the public. Sharing these products
help track the program's actions and accomplishments. We found that the EPA
has not shared many of these products and results from program-funded
projects; thus, the status of the Border 2020 Program's activities is neither
transparent nor accessible.
Without sufficient management controls for the Border 2020 Program, the EPA
cannot verify whether the program is achieving its intended purpose to protect
the human health and environment as it relates to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Recommendations and Planned Agency Corrective Actions
We recommend that the EPA establish and implement management controls to
(1)	increase the reliability of action plans by standardizing the format and to
determine how and when Policy Forums action plans will be developed;
(2)	develop performance measures; (3) share subgrantee fact sheets; and
(4) provide stakeholder and public access to funded products such as studies,
reports, and videos. The Agency agreed with our recommendations and provided
acceptable corrective actions.

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