On an annual basis, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) identifies what it considers to be the most significant management challenges facing the Department of Energy. This effort is designed to assess the agency's progress in addressing previously identified challenges and to consider emerging issues. The identified challenges represent risks inherent in the Department's wide ranging and complex operations as well as those related to specific management processes.
Since its creation in 1977, the Department's priorities have evolved, reflecting current energy and security needs of the Nation. Most recently, the implementation and execution of programs supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) have been at the forefront of Departmental operations. Signed into law by the President on February 17, 2009, the Recovery Act provided the Department with $36.7 billion in funding for the acceleration of a number of efforts, including investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, carbon capture and storage, and a "smart" electric grid. In addition, Recovery Act funding was to be used to accelerate the cleanup of Cold War legacy nuclear sites and to support Departmental technological and scientific innovation efforts.