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45–059 l




before the


of the





Serial No. 105–46
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Printed for the use of the Committee on Resources


DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman

W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
KEN CALVERT, California
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
LINDA SMITH, Washington
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
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JOHN PETERSON, Pennsylvania
RICK HILL, Montana

EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California
SAM FARR, California
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ADAM SMITH, Washington
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
CHRIS JOHN, Louisiana
RON KIND, Wisconsin

LLOYD A. JONES, Chief of Staff
CHRISTINE KENNEDY, Chief Clerk/Administrator
JOHN LAWRENCE, Democratic Staff Director

Subcommittee on Water and Power Resources
JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California, Chairman

KEN CALVERT, California
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
LINDA SMITH, Washington
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CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California
SAM FARR, California
ADAM SMITH, Washington
RON KIND, Wisconsin
————— —————
————— —————

ROBERT FABER, Staff Director/Counsel
VALERIE WEST, Professional Staff
STEVE LANICH, Democratic Staff


    Hearing held July 17, 1997

Statement of Members:
Doolittle, Hon. John T., a Representative in Congress from the State of California

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Statement of Witnesses:
Eaton, Dr. Gordon P., Director, United States Geological Survey
Prepared statement of
Kladiva, Susan D., Acting Associate Director, Energy, Resources, and Science Issues, Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division, United States General Accounting Office
Prepared statement of
Martin, Dr. Robert L. San, Executive Director, Energy and Resources Board, Department of Energy
Prepared statement of
Martinez, Hon. Eluid L., Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, United States Department of Interior
Prepared statement of

Additional material supplied:
Borchardt, Charles A., prepared statement of
Deihl, Michael, prepared statement of
Shafer, J. M., prepared statement of
Wright, Stephen J., prepared statement of

Communications submitted:
Draft Strategic Plan for Bureau of Reclamation


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House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Water and Power,
Committee on Resources,
Washington, DC.
    The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 3:30 p.m., in room 1324, Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC, Hon. John T. Doolittle (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. We will call the Subcommittee to order. I apologize for the delay. I think we will be able to get through this now uninterrupted.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 is designed to promote a practical opportunity for the Federal Government today to put its house in order. The Results Act shifts the focus of Federal agencies away from traditional concerns such as staffing and activity levels and toward the overriding issue of results.
    The Act was not designed to emphasize internal function or agency output, but rather agencies need to look to their core responsibility as identified by legislative authorization. They need to identify goals and strategies to produce measurable results in attaining the vision and mission of the agency.
    A critical difference with this strategic planning effort is the fact that the agencies and the Congress are working for the American public, working with the American public, to develop these plans. Subsequently, the Congress will make the budget and appropriation cycles to the plan.
    Prior strategic planning activities have been largely internal to the agencies without reflecting the input of the Congress and the public. This is as close as we have come so far to subjecting government to the type of real focus which makes the private sector more efficient.
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    We struggle every day with the responsibility to force government to live within its means, to craft and manage a government that is smaller, smarter, and more responsive. Instead of limiting its activities to those which the citizens cannot perform for themselves, their individual initiative, or private enterprise, this government has attempted to become all things to all people. In doing so, it is growing too expensive, too large, and too inefficient. The goal of the Results Act is to decide what government could do and develop a process to identify the overlap, the inefficiencies, and the areas where government has gone from aiding the citizens to hobbling the citizens.
    James Madison, I think, said it best in the Federalist Papers, ''It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government, and frankly, a government is to be administered by men over men. The great difficulty lies in this. You must first enable the government to control the government and in the next place, to apply the controls set.''
    This is the reason the Results Act calls for consultation with the citizens and with the Congress. This is the reason we are looking for a clear reflection and statutory authority for the central elements of the strategic plans. This is the reason that the Act will tie the result of strategic plans to the budget appropriation cycle.
    In crafting a strategic plan, each agency needs to compare specifically its strategic plan to that of its counterparts to identify overlaps and to identify the unique role it should provide. We have too many agencies trying to do the same thing.
    A good deal of the blame for duplicate programs and vague missions is the Congress itself. Over the years, Congress has added new responsibilities without a close look at where they were creating overlap, but administrations and bureaucracies have followed with a vengeance. They had to do something to add to their numbers, to expand their responsibilities, to redefine themselves and their missions, and have indeed simply perpetuated themselves.
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    But government is not without self-perpetuation. That is the main reason that we have laws and regulations prohibiting agencies from lobbying.
    The time has come for the Results Act to provide the mechanism to identify where we can eliminate the overlap, save the dollars, and force government to become more responsive.
    The Department of the Interior has decided to produce both individual bureau strategic plans as well as a DOI overview plan. The Bureau of Reclamation provided a draft strategic plan to the congressional staff on May 2, 1997. Chairman Young and I provided a written evaluation later in the month highlighting both procedural and substantive problems with that plan.
    The Bureau has provided a new plan and attached it to its testimony for this hearing. While it appears to respond to many of our concerns, it should be noted the timing of the response made it very hard to incorporate it into this hearing; however I am grateful to have the updated plan, and I would hope in the future it might be provided in a more timely basis, but I recognize the fact that it was provided.
    The USGS also provided a plan in early May and met with the congressional staff. They subsequently provided revisions, but there are substantial areas where we feel there remains an opportunity to improve the product.
    The Department of Energy chose to produce a single agency-wide plan. Unfortunately, when they initiated the broad congressional consultation in May, they did not provide any draft of their plan. Since that meeting, they have produced a draft which relegates the power of the administrations to less than one paragraph. This result I find unacceptable.
    Subsequent conversations between Subcommittee staff and PMA staff alerted them of the need to participate in the process to provide some information to the Subcommittee. That process has begun with some material being submitted, but it is far from complete and must be incorporated in the DOE plan as a whole in some fashion.
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    I would like to ask our witnesses to please rise and raise their right hands, and I will administer the oath.
    Do you solemnly swear or affirm under the penalty of perjury that the responses given and statements made will be the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
    Let the record reflect that each has answered in the affirmative, and I thank you very much. Please be seated.
    We have a commitment to get Dr. San Martin out of here by 4 p.m., so I think we will alter the normal process of the Committee and invite him to give his testimony and any question or questions I may have I will address at that time, and then we will excuse you, Dr. San Martin, so you can keep to your schedule.
    You are recognized for your testimony.
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I certainly appreciate your assistance in that regard.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for inviting the department to testify today on our compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act.
    I understand the Subcommittee's focus of interest is the department's GPRA activities as they relate to the Power Marketing Administration. In the Department of Energy's strategic planning process, I serve as the coordinator for all of the energy resources business line of the department, which does include the Power Marketing Administration.
    I would first like to provide you with a little bit of background on the GPRA strategic planning in general and DOE's planning process in particular. GPRA, as was passed by the Congress, does require cabinet level agencies to prepare strategic plans. This means that the Power Marketing Administrations are not responsible for submitting individual strategic plans under GPRA. Instead, their activities are addressed in the DOE-wide strategic plan.
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    For this purpose, a strategic plan is a broad overview document that addresses the department from a top-down perspective. The department-wide plan does not attempt to go into detail about every departmental activity or program. After all, the Department of Energy has 127 distinct programs within its jurisdiction. If every program were covered in the top-down, overall DOE strategic plan, the document would be very large so as to be unusable.
    The Power Marketing Administrations can and have produced their own strategic plans, plans that focus on their own individual missions as have the other programs within the Department of Energy. These power marketing administration-specific documents are the place to find the detailed discussions of the PMAs' goals and objectives.
    Strategic planning, Mr. Chairman, by its nature as we are all finding out is a consultative process, one of formulation and consultation and revision. The working draft of the strategic plan issued last month by the Department of Energy is by no means the finished product. It was developed to provide a starting point for discussion and consultation. It can and will be altered significantly as the department continues to evaluate its draft plan, using input from the consultation process.
    In fact, the Department of Energy's GPRA strategic planning team has worked closely with the House of Representatives GPRA coordinating committee to ensure that the Congressional consultation process meets the needs of the House Members.
    To our knowledge, we have complied with their every request during this process for developing the GPRA strategic plan, and Mr. Chairman, we have heard from the staff that DOE's consultation process has been the best of the departments they dealt with.
    DOE is currently in the middle of the consultation process. We welcome the Subcommittee's comments, and will most assuredly give them serious consideration for inclusion in the final plan which will be submitted to the Congress on September 30, 1997.
    Not only is the department seeking congressional input during the consultation period, it is also providing its working draft to each cabinet agency, to hundreds and hundreds of interested stakeholder groups, and the general public available to them through the Internet. We are encouraging review, and we are encouraging suggestions and improvements from all of these sources.
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    GPRA, Mr. Chairman, does require all of us to do more than just strategic plans. It also requires departments to produce annual performance plans and a performance report for each fiscal year on how well actual performance tracked the plan.
    The Department of Energy took the initiative and got a jump start on the Government Performance and Results Act performance plan requirement by issuing a performance plan with its fiscal 1998 budget, one year ahead of the GPRA timetable.
    Mr. Chairman, the power marketing administrations have been active participants in the department's strategic planning process and conducted strategic planning of their own for several years. Their efforts dovetailed nicely with the rest of the department's activities in this regard.
    Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I would argue that the way to look at the strategic plans of the department are that the individual unit plans dovetail into the master umbrella plan that is the corporate plan for the Department of Energy.
    Sitting behind me today, Mr. Chairman, are Steven Wright, the vice president for national relations for the Bonneville Power Administration; Charles Borchardt, who is administrator of the Southeastern Power Administration; Michael Deihl, the administrator of the Southwestern Power Administration; and J.M. Shafer, the administrator of the Western Area Power Administration. These gentlemen are available and are prepared to answer specific questions about the strategic planning process and performance measures of the individual power marketing administrations.
    Thank you again for this opportunity to speak before you this afternoon. I and my colleagues will be happy to respond to any questions you or the other Subcommittee Members may have, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Robert L. San Martin may be found at end of hearing.]
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    Mr. DOOLITTLE. It looks like it is me. Dr. San Martin, I must apologize that I did not introduce you in the rush to get this hearing going, and I meant to. You are the executive director of the Energy and Resources for the Department of Energy, is that correct?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. And that is, as I understand it, that the PMAs report to you?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Mr. Chairman, what we have in the energy resources board of the department is a cross-cutting council that includes all of the energy offices within the Department of Energy. It includes the PMAs, but it also includes the programs of nuclear energy, fossil energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy. It includes the office of energy research. It includes the policy office. It includes the policy office. It includes our energy information administration, and what we do is try and deal with planning and strategic directional issues for the combined energy programs within the department.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. It was my understanding, Dr. San Martin, that up until this point, up until we contacted you recently, the PMAs had not actually done anything pursuant to the Government Performance and Results Act, that whatever planning went on was not with specific reference or pursuant to that Act, but was pursuant to other internal directives. Do I have that understanding correct?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Mr. Chairman, from firsthand knowledge of prior responsibilities I have had within the Department of Energy, I can assure you that the power marketing administrations and the individual organizational units have had a practice of strategic plans and setting up goals and objectives that they can measure themselves against.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. But that wasn't pursuant or with reference to the Government Performance and Results Act, was it?
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    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Mr. Chairman, when we began our internal pilot in 1994 for the purpose of preparing for the Government Performance and Results Act, and we began the process of developing not only a strategic plan, but also of developing annual performance plans and performance reports which we have done internally, the power marketing administrations have most definitely been included in that.
    When I began calling together all of the energy organizations for the purpose of developing this particular GPRA strategic plan that you have before you, the power marketing administrations were included from day one.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. So then it is your contention that indeed these were pursuant to GPRA?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Yes, sir. I believe that all of those actions were all carried out for GPRA or for the spirit of GPRA.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. The spirit of GPRA. Tell me about the spirit of GPRA.
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. The intent that is embodied in the legislation, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. It may be consistent with GPRA, but it was my belief that it was not carried out for GPRA. I might be wrong. Am I?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Mr. Chairman, from my personal experience within the department, when we began to generically speak about GPRA coming and we were beginning a number of processes, the people who were working that knew that they were to prepare for, when we actually fixed and formally went out and convened people for the purpose of producing the document that is required by GPRA, which was again earlier this year, that is the point that most people would conclude was the fixed time when the focus was exclusively on GPRA.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Could you provide to the Subcommittee some written documentation that provides the link between their planning and GPRA?
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    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Certainly.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Let me ask you this. What percentage of the employees of the Department of Energy are employed in the power marketing administrations, the Federal employees?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. The Department of Energy has close to 18,000 Federal employees and 110,000 dedicated contractor employees, and of the Federal employees, the Power Marketing Administration represents a little over 20 percent, if I recall correctly.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. With over 20 percent of your Federal employees involved in PMAs, how is it that in the strategic plan of DOE that they get just a few sentences?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Mr. Chairman, in many ways, the operation of the power marketing administrations serve a very important function in the service and the energy that they deliver and market. In many ways, it operates as a business in the conduct of their work. In that regard in operating as a business and striving to deliver reliable services at the lowest possible cost, a good deal of what they do is prudent and cost effect management of the resources they are entrusted with, and that, Mr. Chairman, is also covered in the corporate management section without reference to specific areas in the strategic plan.
    When you get down to specific energy matters and the energy system, when we created an envelope for how all of the pieces of the Department of Energy fit, the power marketing administrations and how they fit in the electric sector and the critical function that they provide in support and stability of our transmission system was the highlight of their contribution from a strategic perspective, and therefore, that was the area that was highlighted in that overall strategic plan.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. It just seems strange to me that since over one-fifth of the entire Federal employee work force is employed in PMAs, that it wouldn't get more focus than it got, and I guess I am expressing to you the opinion that I think it ought to get some additional focus.
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    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Mr. Chairman, your recommendation is duly noted, and I will certainly carry that back as this plan is revised because we expect to have a revision of this at the beginning of August and we will come back to the Congress again in hopes of getting more comments before we go into a final draft after that.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Let me ask you, are there programs or activities that need to be eliminated, created, or restructured to achieve the goals outlined?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Do you mean the plan that is being commented on now, Mr. Chairman?
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Yes.
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. The plan that is being commented on right now is a plan that looked at trying to carefully identify and relate to all of the important broad areas of the department and all of the areas that are required of the department by legislation. I think we have addressed that, and the plan is before you at this time.
    It does not give you an itemized list to respond to the question you just asked.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Are you aware of such programs or activities that will need to be eliminated, restructured, or created?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. I am not at this particular point in time, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. I know this is a first-time experience for all these agencies going through this, but it seems to me that it is a worthwhile endeavor if we can actually improve the bottom line of all the taxpayer money being spent through governmental activities, namely, the results.
    May I just ask you, and I don't know your background, but have you been employed in the Department of Energy for a number of years?
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    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman. I joined the Department of Energy in 1978.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. I was correct in the beginning. It is my belief that the people who work in these agencies are the ones many times who are most aware where the duplication is or where the inefficiencies are, and oftentimes, they have an idea of ways things could be carried out that would improve the results, because they are most familiar with the activities.
    I just wonder if you would care to comment on your prognosis for seeing something positive coming out of this process?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. I would like to very much, Mr. Chairman. I have two major comments. No. 1, I think that GPRA is very good for the Federal Government and will be good for the Department of Energy, and I personally genuinely support everything that is intended in the legislation.
    Reflecting what I have seen over the last almost 20 years, I think that we are genuinely going through a learning process, and if we have the opportunity to be able to do this for another two or three cycles, because we will learn from each other and we will get much better at doing this, I think we will have done a real service to the public.
    At the same time that we are going through this learning experience, I think part of that is going to be how we use the best information that we have available, because in many ways, if you look at a very, what should I say, corporate strategic plan and then you evaluate that with all the strategic plans that exist with the operating units, I think one gets the very best picture of how well one is truly documenting and explaining what functions and actions and results are actually being carried out.
    Now, you were also asking the question about what can we potentially do to eliminate less-than-desirable functions or less-than-efficient functions within the department, and I believe we have to be very vigilant in looking for this at all points in time, but I must point out that it was only about 3 years ago that in the Department of Energy, we went through a very extensive bottoms-up strategic alignment process where we identified a considerable amount of actions, programs, and activities that we felt were either no longer appropriate or were significantly inefficient or were not sufficiently productive, and we changed things and eliminated quite a few things, and in that regard, I think we made some big steps forward in carrying out what is intended by the legislation, but I think there is always the opportunity to look harder and do the job better.
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    Mr. DOOLITTLE. The Southeastern Power Administration's strategic plan for 1997 contains the goal that Southeastern will increase project reliability from 87 percent to 95 percent by 2002, which would be a very commendable goal to achieve. The second and third objectives specifically state that Southeastern will encourage its customers to lobby for funding.
    Now, I don't know whether that violates the law or not, but it seems to me that it is awfully close to that. Could I invite your comment on that portion of their plan?
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Mr. Chairman, may I call on my colleague?
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Yes. Would you identify yourself and be sworn in as a witness?
    Mr. BORCHARDT. Yes. I am Charles Borchardt, Administrator for the Southeastern Power Administration.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Mr. Borchardt, would you please raise your right hand?
    Do you solemnly swear or affirm under the penalty of perjury that the responses given and statements made will be the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
    Mr. BORCHARDT. Yes, I do.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Thank you. Go ahead and give us your comment.
    Mr. BORCHARDT. Yes, sir. I think what we were talking about at that time was the general statement that we would try to seek alternative funding and have the customers work with the Corps of Engineers to obtain funds directly to eliminate some of the requests for appropriations that the Corps was going through.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. From previous hearings, Mr. Borchardt, I know we have discussed the reliability issue, and I know it is important that you receive proper funding for the operation and maintenance of the power generating facilities, but I was a little concerned to read the emphasis on lobbying, and I would like to have that clarified.
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    Mr. BORCHARDT. It was an unfortunate use of the word. It was not meant to be lobbying per se but to find ways of doing alternative funding and thus eliminate additional appropriations. This would be primarily on the Corps side, but it would reduce our rates.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. I would like to thank you two gentleman for being here. Dr. San Martin, I note that your hour has almost arrived, and with that, we will excuse you and carry on with the remaining witnesses.
    Dr. SAN MARTIN. Thank you very much for being able to assist me, Mr. Chairman, and I would be very happy to work with you and your staff on any followup.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Thank you. I appreciate that. Our next witness will be Susan D. Kladiva, Acting Associate Director; Energy, Resources, and Science Issues, from the United States General Accounting Office. Ms. Kladiva, welcome.
    Ms. KLADIVA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to be here today to participate in the Subcommittee's review of the efforts of the Departments of Energy and Interior to comply with the requirements of the Results Act.
    As agreed, I will comment on the overall quality of the draft strategic plans of Energy and the Interior and provide specific comments on the Energy plan as it relates to the Power Marketing Administrations, and Interior's plan in three key areas, first, the Bureau of Reclamation's mission; second, the coordination of cross-cutting program activities at the Bureau and the U.S. Geological Survey; and third, the challenges that both will face in providing reliable information for measuring results.
    It is important to recognize that the final plans are not due to the Congress until September and that the Results Act anticipated that it may take several planning cycles to perfect the process, and that the final plans will be continually refined as future planning occurs. Thus, my comments reflect a snapshot of the plans in mid-June when they were submitted to the Congress.
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    First, with respect to the Department of Energy's draft plan, while we found that the agency has made progress in developing its plan, the draft plan does not provide the Congress with complete information for its consultation with the agency. Energy has developed a plan that is appropriately focused on a department-wide mission that transcends the interest of individual programs. Accordingly, the document barely mentions PMAs specifically.
    However, of particular concern to this Subcommittee, it does not identify programs and activities such as those of the PMAs that are cross-cutting or similar to those of other agencies. The PMAs' function of marketing electricity relates to the functions of the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that produce the electricity that the PMAs market. However, the plan does not recognize that the achievement of Energy's strategic goals will depend in part upon its coordination with these agencies. To ensure that the PMAs, the Bureau, and the Corps are moving toward mutually reinforcing goals and objectives, we believe it is important for Energy to address the coordination issue of its plan.
    Turning to Interior's draft plan, a significant amount of work still needs to be done before Interior's plan can fulfill the requirements of the Act. Since programs within Interior are carried out primarily through its eight major autonomous subagencies, Interior chose to implement the Act by developing an overview plan for the department as a whole and requiring each of the subagencies to develop its own plan.
    Three key areas are of special interest to this Subcommittee. First, the Bureau's mission. Although the mission statement is comprehensive and covers the major statutory responsibilities, this Subcommittee and the Bureau disagree about the focus of its basic mission. The Subcommittee's May 29 letter to the commissioner noted that the Bureau seems to be abandoning its original mission of developing water resources in favor of managing water resources.
    You questioned whether the Bureau is the appropriate agency to be carrying out the activities related to this management mission. The mission of the Bureau, which was established 95 years ago, has evolved and changed over time. Its present-day mission is a legitimate and suitable subject for negotiation. It is the basic premise from which the remainder of the plan flows. The consultation process established by the Results Act provides an ideal framework for discussing such issues.
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    Next, cross-cutting program activities. As with Energy, Interior's draft plan generally does not identify programs and activities that are cross-cutting or similar to those of other agencies, nor does it indicate that any coordination has occurred.
    For example, both the Bureau and the Geological Survey as well as other agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency address environmental water quality issues. Cross-cutting program efforts present the logical need to coordinate efforts to ensure that goals are consistent and, as appropriate, that program efforts are mutually reinforcing.
    We have found that when this is not done, overlap and duplication can undermine efforts to establish clear missions and goals.
    Finally, identifying program measures and ensuring the development of reliable financial program information to measure the progress under their strategic plans will be major challenges for Interior and all of its subagencies. Interior acknowledges the challenge, and to its credit, has included in its department-wide draft strategic plan a general goal for improving its financial and performance reporting systems to better support the implementation of the Results Act.
    In summary, both the Departments of Energy and the Interior have made progress toward meeting the requirements of the Act. The continuing consultation process provides the opportunity for this Subcommittee to ensure first, that he subagencies' priorities are consistent with those of the Congress, and second, that the functions are complementary, appropriate in scope, and not duplicative.
    Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement, and I will be pleased to answer any questions that you may have.
    [The prepared statement of Susan D. Kladiva may be found at end of hearing.]
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Thank you very much. We will proceed next with the remaining two witnesses, and then have questions of the remainder of the panel.
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    Our next witness is the Honorable Eluid Martinez, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. Commissioner, I am pleased to have you here and recognize you for your testimony.
    Mr. MARTINEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on the status of the Bureau of Reclamation's compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act.
    With your permission, I would like to summarize my comments and have the full text of my prepared statement entered into the hearing record.
    Mr. Chairman, the Bureau of Reclamation has taken its responsibilities in this process seriously. GPRA has provided the Bureau an opportunity to re-examine its role and will provide Congress the opportunity to consider the role of the Federal Government in meeting contemporary water needs in the west.
    Because western water supplies are limited and because Reclamation supplies water to some 10,000,000 acres of land in the west and over 30,000,000 people, our actions are important in addressing the broad range of competing demands for water in the west.
    To address these demands for water, we are involved in a number of initiatives, including the management of water at our projects. We are assisting communities through a number of activities. We provide technical assistance for water conservation. We are helping to demonstrate and implement the benefits of water reclamation and re-use, and where appropriate and in cooperation with States, tribes, local, and other entities, Reclamation is and will encourage the development of consensus-based structural and nonstructural economically justified and environmentally sensitive water supply initiatives.
    We will continue to work with Congress and other Federal, State and local governments, Native Americans, and the general public to meet the water and related resource needs of the 21st century.
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    We realize that this process is an ongoing initiative. On April 17, Reclamation published in the Federal Register a notice of availability of its draft strategic plan. We posted a copy of the plan on our home page, and that plan continues to be on the Internet.
    Through the months of April and May, Reclamation held numerous meetings in States throughout the west and in Washington, DC, on its April draft plan. We met with Federal, State, and local government agencies. We met with water users, power users, Indian tribes, conservationists, academics, and others, and on May 2, Reclamation received input from this Subcommittee on our initial draft, and Reclamation is aware and is responding to comments made by yourself and Chairman Young on these issues.
    Mr. Chairman, these meetings were productive. In fact, as a result of the six meetings held in Washington, Reclamation now hosts regular monthly meetings in Washington with interested parties. The next such meeting is scheduled for July 23.
    Based on the comments received to date, our April 17 draft has undergone what I consider to be significant changes. Next week, Reclamation's plan will go to the Department for its review. Between now and August 15 when the plan is sent to the Office of Management and Budget, it is my hope that Reclamation will have another opportunity to meet with the Subcommittee to receive your concerns. We will continue our meetings in Washington with stakeholders, and will continue to receive comments from interested parties.
    The revised plan will be placed on the Internet, and we will transmit the plan to all the western Governors in reclamation States for the comments and input. The report is due to Congress on September 30.
    Mr. Chairman, this hearing is both timely and appropriate. Reclamation's strategic plan continues to be an effort that was begun in the late 1980's. Ten years ago, this Subcommittee had a congressional oversight hearing on the reorganization of the Bureau of Reclamation, and it focused on a document entitled Assessment 1987, and I raise this issue, and you might in your time have an opportunity to read this document. It is about 131 pages, and I have read it over the last few weeks, and it sheds some interesting information on the Bureau of Reclamation.
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    At that time, Assistant Secretary James Ziglar testified before the committee, and made some remarks that remain appropriate today. I would like to quote one of his comments.
    He said that the Bureau of Reclamation's original mission of reclaiming the west was relatively close to being accomplished in that there were very few opportunities left to build large dams and reservoirs. However, the Bureau's general mission of providing an adequate supply of water was far from being accomplished.
    He went on to say that to accomplish this, the Bureau must change from a construction-company mentality to a resource-management type of agency.
    Mr. Chairman, I bring this historical reference to your attention to point out that the Bureau of Reclamation, Congress, and the stakeholders have been discussing the contemporary mission of the Bureau of Reclamation for more than a decade through different administrations.
    I and Reclamation look forward to working with you and this Subcommittee to continue to debate this important issue. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify, and I would be pleased to answer any questions you might have.
    [The preparee statement of Eluid L. Martinez may be found at end of hearing.]
    [Draft Strategic Plan for Bureau of Reclamation may be found at end of hearing.]
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Thank you. Our next witness will be Dr. Gordon P. Eaton, Director of the United States Geological Survey. Mr. Eaton, I invite you to give your testimony.
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    Mr. EATON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Like my colleagues here at the witness table, I very much appreciate this opportunity to discuss with you the Geological Survey's draft of its intended plans and accomplishments under the Government Performance and Results Act.
    In your letter of invitation to Secretary Babbitt, you expressed specific interest in having us address several different topics, but before addressing these, I would like to share some background information about the USGS strategic planning efforts in general and GPRA planning in particular.
    In June 1996, the Geological Survey concluded an 18-month strategic planning effort with the publication of a paper entitled Strategic Plan for the U.S. Geological Survey, 1996–2005, and that document ably expressed the vision and strategic direction of the USGS, but it did not provide statements of goals and objectives as called for by GPRA.
    For that reason, a revised plan, strategic plan for the U.S. Geological Survey for 1997 to 2005 carries forward much of what was laid out in the June, 1996, publication, but adds GPRA goals and objectives as well as addressing the programs of the National Biological Service, which at the direction of the Congress, had become the Survey's biological resource division on October 1 of last year.
    This new document has been revised as of June of this year to reflect comments provided both by departmental staff and as a result of preliminary consultations with congressional staff, including members of the staff of this Subcommittee.
    The U.S. Geological Survey also participated in the pilot phase of GPRA implementation through the National Water Quality Assessment Program. Through this early experience, we have and are learning a lot, including, for example, the fact that it is possible for different measures of success to have different significance depending on the interests and the different perspectives of the reviewers. Also, for performance plans, performance measures, and critical results to produce desired outcomes, there must be ongoing communication between and among performers and reviewers.
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    Suffice it to say it has been a significant challenge for the USGS as a science agency to develop results-oriented performance measures that will allow ourselves and others to determine whether or not specific goals are being met.
    Some of the difficulties that we face, and these are shared with other science agencies in the Federal Government include the following.
    In most cases, a minimum of 5 years is required to fully realize outcomes from much long-term research, although summaries might not yield meaningful and strategic results for as much as ten or more years.
    At an even more fundamental level, we often cannot anticipate whether our research findings and facts will be used immediately by a client or what the results might be. In other words, if we are attempting to measure outcomes, in many cases, the results of our work lead to outcomes that are in the hands of others, and not ourselves.
    With these brief concerns as background, let me turn now to the Subcommittee's four specific areas of interest.
    The first is the unique responsibilities of the Geological Survey that define its mission. This mission can be very succinctly summarized as providing the Nation with reliable, impartial information to describe and understand the objects, the phenomena, and the processes at work upon and within the earth.
    This information is used by others to minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters to manage water, biological energy, and mineral resources, to enhance and protect the quality of life, and to contribute to the wise economic and physical development of the assets of the nation.
    Within this overall mention of the USGS, the mission of the water resources division is to provide reliable, impartial, timely information needed to understand the nature of water resources.
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    Water resource division activities include data collection, assessments of water resources, applied research, basic research and development for the purpose of solving water-related problems.
    In summary, the water resources division of the U.S. Geological Survey is a primary source of scientific information on one of the nation's most important and vital natural resources, water. This responsibility fulfills a unique Federal role by providing standardized, objective information to the entire country through the collection of long-term hydrologic data, interpretive reports, and the development of new measurement and analytical methods.
    Historically, the USGS has been very active in coordinating its work with other agencies. The newly formed advisory committee on water information convened by the USGS brings together 35 water resource organizations at all levels of government, the private sector, universities, and public interest groups as well.
    Reimbursable programs with numerous Federal agencies provide an acute awareness of current and future needs of water information that are reflected in the USGS strategic plan.
    One example of this process is the watershed and river system management program, a cooperative, formal venture between the USGS and our colleagues in the Bureau of Reclamation. The program supports the development and application of data-based decisions for systems, which in turn assist resource managers at Federal, State, and local levels, and the result has been the postulation of a specific GPRA measure.
    In addition to such programmatic interactions, the USGS has established a number of formal bilateral committees. The Survey participates in the interagency research roundtable and the Natural Resources Performance Management Forum, Federal agency groups sharing experiences in implementing a GPRA.
    We see great value in GPRA, and despite the concerns that I have expressed, I think that by working together in consultation with the Congress, we can find a way in fact to make GPRA meaningful and helpful to our conduct where appropriate.
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    Again, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this afternoon.
    [The prepared statement of Gordon P. Eaton may be found at end of hearing.]
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Thank you very much. One of the comments by the General Accounting Office would seem to be common to all three of the departments or agencies represented here today was the failure to identify programs and activities that were cross-cutting or similar to those of other agencies.
    I just wondered if any of you would care to offer your thoughts as to why that seems to be a missing element in your own plan, or if it is a missing element basically in all three that are represented here today.
    Maybe we should begin with our witness from the GAO and ask you if you would offer your thought on that.
    Ms. KLADIVA. For one thing, Mr. Chairman, I think that agencies in going through this process right now are focused on themselves and they are not thinking beyond their own mission sphere in terms of what they can accomplish on their own versus what they must accomplish by working with other government agencies.
    As we pointed out with the PMAs, for example, they market the electricity, but in order for them to market electricity, they have to have the power and coordinate with the Bureau of Reclamation and with the Corps of Engineers.
    In looking at the strategic plans of those two entities, they do not appear to have coordinated with one another, although individually, each has some performance measures that would relate to the functions that are important to the other.
    When we talk about coordination, we don't mean just putting the document out there for comment and for others to see. What we mean is sitting down and discussing and reaching agreement so that when you look across the plans, where activities are related, you see a consistent pattern in the performance measures, the goals and objectives so that you have some degree of confidence that they are actually going to be able to fulfill that goal or objective by working together.
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    Mr. DOOLITTLE. I appreciate that. Mr. Borchardt, I can ask him, but let me ask the two of you that remain with your agencies.
    Have you had an opportunity to go sit down and compare notes on these similar responsibilities?
    Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, I think if I may comment, the bureaucracies have a tendency to respond to the issues that they need to respond to, and I think that if that would have been—my understanding is that the GPRA Act does not require that kind of coordination, although I do believe that it is an important and integral part of this whole process.
    Probably one of the reasons, and I am speaking as an individual, one of the reasons you are not seeing these plans for this is because it is not one of the six or seven requirements. I do believe that there is quite a bit of coordination taking place.
    In my particular instance, I have attended several meetings by other agencies going through their GPRA plans, and I know that that coordination is taking place and is taking place inside the Department of the Interior.
    I think that it is through these type of hearings that raise these issues that make the agency more aware that this is an issue that the Congress is concerned about, but I think there is that consultation taking place.
    Now, let me raise another issue here that I think needs to be raised, that notwithstanding the fact that you have different agencies involved in similar activities to relate to the testimony, the comment that was made here to my left just a minute ago, is that even though you might have EPA, the Bureau of Reclamation, the BIA, and the Department of Energy all involved in common issues which might be water quality, it would be in my opinion very difficult for all of them to reach a common goal, because their missions and their responsibilities might differ. But where they can have common goals, you have to identify the duplication, and that is just an observation that I volunteer as an individual, Mr. Chairman.
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    Mr. DOOLITTLE. I didn't quite follow the last part of your statement. You said where they do have common goals?
    Mr. MARTINEZ. What I am saying is that the EPA is a regulatory agency; the Bureau of Reclamation is sort of a management agency. We both have common interests in certain issues, but we might not necessarily agree on the same outcome of that issue was more or less what I am trying to say.
    So it might be difficult to set four agencies around a table that are all involved with water quality to all say this is our common goal, because they spread out on certain issues. In other words, they don't all agree on certain issues.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. You may have different goals, and I understand that may produce a different conclusion, but I guess from your perspective, from your own personal knowledge and experience, are there some areas that are duplicative, perhaps through identification of these different common responsibilities that might result in some improvement in efficiency or in some recommendation to Congress for legislation where it could be done administratively to clarify these different missions?
    Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, I guess the idealistic answer would be that all Federal agencies don't duplicate efforts, but that in practicality is not the answer.
    It appears to me that the process that allows agencies to see what other agencies are doing can lead to some improvement.
    With respect to the Department of the Interior agencies, we try to coordinate as much as possible and avoid the duplication.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Maybe that is an illustration of how it could work between agencies that aren't in the same department.
    Ms. Kladiva, do you have a comment on that?
    Ms. KLADIVA. Yes. Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment on the statement that the identification of cross-cutting issues is not required by the Results Act.
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    Specifically, one of the six requirements of the Results Act is that agencies are to identify key factors affecting achievement of general goals and objectives, and within the guidance of the Office of Management and Budget, Circular A–11 specifically indicates that among these key factors that should be considered is that achievement of goals can also depend upon the action of Congress, other Federal agencies, State, local governments, and non-Federal entities. Key factors influence goal achievement directly and significantly and potentially could invalidate the assumptions underlying the goal.
    Accordingly, the OMB guidance says that the strategic plan should briefly discuss and describe each key external factor, indicate its link with a particular goal, and describe how the achievement of the goal can be affected by that factor.
    On that basis, when you have a number of agencies that have missions, for example, in water quality, unless those agencies sit down and talk with each other and sort out what the relative responsibilities are and where those responsibilities overlap, how do you identify where there is duplication?
    If each agency approaches this as though what they are doing is fine, freestanding, and that they don't need to coordinate with other agencies, that is where you get a potential for duplication and waste.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. May I just ask you—I am looking at page 2 of your testimony under the subheading background, and you list the six elements the Act requires. Which one of these six does this fall under?
    Ms. KLADIVA. Of the six, I am not sure that—it is number 5.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Number 5, identification of key factors, externally to the agency and beyond its control that could significantly affect achievement of the strategic goals, and then you referred to a——
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    Ms. KLADIVA. The OMB circular which implements the Act for the executive agencies. It is Circular number A–11, part 2, which was issued in June 1996.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Let me just ask our witnesses, are you gentlemen familiar with this circular that she is referring to?
    Mr. EATON. I am in general, but I have staff who are familiar with it in detail.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. And Commissioner, is it the same situation for you?
    Mr. MARTINEZ. I haven't read the individual circular, but I am aware of its existence.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Let me just ask you, if you would, to get a copy of that or maybe have your staff get a copy of it and see if you can agree with Ms. Kladiva that the coordination is in essence part of the requirements of GPRA. Perhaps that is something we need legislatively to clarify in the future.
    Mr. MARTINEZ. There is no question. I think that coordination is important, and I don't want to take up time debating that issue, because I find it interesting that General Accounting Office says all six conditions have been met, but if you have not met condition number 5, there seems to be an inconsistency, because they are saying all the conditions have been met, yet the plan is deficient because there is no coordination.
    To me, there is a bit of a logic problem there, but we should just leave that to the side and maybe Mr. Eaton might want to shed some light on this.
    Mr. EATON. Mr. Chairman, I would appreciate an opportunity to comment on that.
    The absence of any reference to that in the GPRA report does not mean that there is no coordination. There is in fact extensive coordination.
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    In one area that is cited here, the area of water quality, there is formal and frequent coordination and communication with other agencies. I think the problem here is that the instructions in developing the GPRA plan were not explicit enough in asking to have those put forward.
    Life did not begin with GPRA. We have been in this business a long time and we talk regularly and meaningfully with other agencies at the Federal level, the State level, and the local level.
    The GAO did not come to us and ask that question. I wish that they had.
    With respect to coordination across the whole of Interior, it is addressed by a variety of means in addition to that of strategic planning. Interior has coordinated its strategic planning process through a formal strategic planning steering group and through existing management coordination groups such as the Interior Management Council.
    Interior has also been a driving force in the Natural Resources Performance Management Forum. This forum was established by the Bureau of Land Management, an Interior bureau of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service which is part of Agriculture as you well know, and the National Park Service back in May 1995 to facilitate the exchange of GPRA and related information.
    So I think the wrong question has been asked here, and some assumptions have been made that in fact aren't borne out by the facts.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. And you two represent agencies that in fact are subagencies within the Department of the Interior, so I accept what you are telling me, that you in fact have the coordination going on.
    I will have to ask in writing from the Department of Energy if they are coordinating with the Department of the Army, the Bureau of Reclamation.
    Commissioner, you could probably tell us a little bit about that. Have they coordinated with the Bureau of Reclamation, as far as you are aware?
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    Mr. MARTINEZ. I am aware that some representatives from the power marketing associations have attended some of our workshops out west.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Maybe if you could, for the record, supplement or amplify that answer if you have further information about what is going on there, but that would be an illustration of where you are dealing with entities that are not from the same department. Perhaps there isn't the level of coordination there as there is within the Department of the Interior agencies.
    Ms. KLADIVA. I would underscore again, Mr. Chairman, that our point here is not that they just need to be talking with each other. We know that they coordinate on an operational basis from day to day in many cases, but what we are talking about here is this type of cross-cutting coordination and reaching agreement on the goals and objectives of the strategic plans. That is the part that we are talking about.
    We are talking about ratcheting it up above the working, everyday level.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. That is an important distinction. When you look at it like that, gentlemen, is it your belief that that level of coordination is going on or just the coordination that is essential for the everyday carrying out of activities?
    Mr. EATON. I would argue that it is both from where we sit, and I would point out again, the program that I mentioned which is a formal partnership where we work together.
    I have real trouble with the idea that somehow, there is no coordination going on here, and let me refer back to the Natural Resources Performance Management Forum.
    That has been meeting on a regular basis and its membership includes NOAA and EPA and TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers, quite outside the Department of the Interior.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Commissioner, what is your comment on that?
    Mr. MARTINEZ. The point I was trying to make a while ago and maybe I didn't state it correctly is that there are some issues where this is probably possible, but there are different interests represented by different agencies that might be difficult to come around the table and come to closure.
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    For instance, in the development of water projects, there are endangered species issues, there are water quality issues, EPA has certain concerns, the Bureau of Reclamation has certain concerns, and sometimes, you don't come to closure on those issues.
    I would find it very interesting to get all those agencies around the table and say we all want you to come to one conclusion on a goal of what should be the future of water development projects out west. I am saying that you probably would not be able to do that, so we have to be realistic as to where we are heading.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Maybe this process can force some of those people to rethink their approaches.
    Mr. MARTINEZ. It might be interesting to see what we get out of it.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. I think right now, it seems that you are basically saying that and I would agree that the network of laws and regulations appear to be in conflict, depending upon the agency. Is that your feeling, Commissioner, or have I not characterized that accurately?
    Mr. MARTINEZ. I think, and again, I am speaking as an individual here. I think the authorities are pretty clear, but sometimes, people bring to the table different perceptions.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. I guess if this Act works as it is supposed to, it should focus on the results. We have to have available water, and we have to do it in a way that respects the environment and respects the opportunities for economic growth that are essential for maintaining conditions of economic prosperity. I would hope that this Act, by focusing on the results, would force us to operate a little bit differently maybe than we have been operating, because I don't think anyone can look at these resource or environmental controversies and feel good about how things are working in the government these days.
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    I think the hope here is, and I guess this is your point, Ms. Kladiva, that to carry out the intent of GPRA as GAO has described, the agencies would need to reference each other in their strategic plans and clearly identify conflicts and overlaps.
    Ms. KLADIVA. Absolutely.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Let me ask our two witnesses remaining if that is something that you could take a look at as you proceed with your strategic plans to see if you could at least identify the conflicts and the overlaps?
    Mr. EATON. Absolutely no problem there at all.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Commissioner Martinez, I really think you made a lot of progress in that last draft, and I appreciate your sending that to us.
    One of the things that I would hope to get from all the agencies over which we have oversight is specific citations and statutory authority for each of the goals that you are identifying. I think that would be very useful.
    I think it would be useful to help us as policymakers focus in on what you are actually supposed to be doing, and if there are goals out there that don't have adequate statutory foundation, then I think those would need to be reviewed during an oversight hearing. Then, either the foundation would need to be provided through a law enacted, or if there are things that are supposed to be done that aren't being done, then I think this is how we as a Congress representing the people are able to accomplish the business of the American people.
    That would be of great benefit to us if you could provide that. I don't believe that is actually required by GPRA in the way I asked but I think it would be helpful when you write these plans to tell us what your goals are and so forth, that for each one, give us a footnote, which statute confers the authority to do that, and I think that would be something that I would appreciate having, and I think it would be useful to our Committee Members.
    Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman.
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    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Yes.
    Mr. MARTINEZ. If I may, I think that is a point very well taken, and we tried to respond to that issue in our draft, but as you are aware, on Bureau of Reclamation, we have like 1,400 pages of the laws, and in most cases, it is project-specific.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. I read that in your testimony, and I thought no wonder it is such a difficult problem.
    Mr. MARTINEZ. We would like to work with the staff to see how we might be able to address that issue without giving you on each of the goals five pages of recitations to specific laws, but the intent, I think, is good and we should address that.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. Another thing that came up in another hearing I was in, if you believe this is a problem, I wish you would highlight it as to how it fits into one of these six points, but there is a sort of a tradition that has arisen around here, a longstanding one, of having report language that is inconsistent with the actual statutory language.
    That seems strange to me that we would operate in that fashion, because the only thing that is the law is what is in the statute, and yet the reports are oftentimes treated as if they were the law. I don't know if you feel that that is a problem as you administer your agencies, but I know I have had to introduce a bill—the report had the language we needed in it, but the law was ambiguous, so we are changing the law.
    Maybe in some cases, and I don't know what we would do with 1,400 pages of law that you deal with, Commissioner, whether that is—each of these projects is basically a separate and specific thing, the way we do it. Am I correct?
    Mr. MARTINEZ. That is correct. For the most part, that is correct.
    Mr. DOOLITTLE. That is a good point. I think I have asked the questions I want to. There are many other questions that we could ask, and I think rather than take up your time on any additional questions I have, I will tender it in writing and ask you please to answer as possible, and we will hold the record open for the answers.
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    I really appreciate the time that our witnesses have taken. I am sorry we had to wait so long to get started, and with that, the hearing will stand adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 4:40 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
    [Additional material submitted for the record follows.]