GAO: Forest Service Inefficient

Decision making in the Forest Service is beset by a lack of accountability for time and cost-effectiveness, GAO Associate Director Barry Hill said Tuesday.

As a result, the Forest Service has spent 10 years revising a land management plan for Alaska's Tongass National Forest after originally planning to spend only three years on the project, Hill said in testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Future timber harvest levels in the Tongass depend on the plan's recommendations.

Hill cited an internal Forest Service report saying that decision-making inefficiencies cost the agency up to $100 million a year.

Hill called for better implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, which he noted requires the service to set performance goals and condition pay and promotion on meeting these goals.

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