GAO cites BSEE improvements under Angelle

Scott Angelle (Photography by The Associated Press/Gerald Herbert)

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s biennial High-Risk Series Report cited the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE’s) for progress in addressing long-standing deficiencies in its investigative, environmental compliance and enforcement capabilities, and in the implementation of strategic initiatives to improve offshore oversight and internal management.

The report starkly contrasts with a 2017 GAO Report that reported negative findings in regard to environmental and safety performance and created concern about the adequacy of offshore oil and gas oversight.

In the most recent report, the GAO reported that BSEE has now met all of the criteria for restructuring offshore oil and gas oversight. “BSEE’s director (formerly Scott Angelle) led a change management initiative program that encompassed more than 180 actions to implement reforms throughout the bureau and included efforts such as an internal assessment of its environmental compliance program,” the report reads. “Some of these actions were specifically designed to address our outstanding recommendations regarding the bureau’s restructuring and related strategic initiatives.”

The report concluded that it was appropriate to remove the Restructuring of Offshore Oil and Gas Oversight segment because of BSEE’s progress. “With one in six barrels of America’s oil production coming from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) operations, historically high OCS oil production in 2018 and 2019 generating billions in annual royalty income, it is critical that the nonpartisan GAO monitor and report to the American people as they have done today,” Angelle says.