How the United States Can and Should Improve Its Funding of International Joint Commission Activities

Gao ID: ID-78-10 February 8, 1978

The International Joint Commission assists the United States and Canada in solving water use problems along their common border. The two governments are asking the Commission to become more involved in working out solutions to increasingly complex matters.

The ability of the Commission to fulfill its responsibilities has been hampered by the ineffective means by which the United States funds Commission studies. The indirect funding method has forced the Commission to rely on federal agency funds to carry out the U.S. portion of the studies, resulting in one instance of the United States being unable to meet its commitment. Indirect funding has also caused the true cost of Commission studies to lose visibility. Congress has no awareness of the total cost of Commission studies. The resources provided to the U.S. Secretariat have not kept pace with increasing demands. Lack of adequate staff and funds has hampered the U.S. Secretariat in providing assistance to the U.S. Commissioners, and the Secretariat has had to rely on federal agencies for staff and funds to carry out some of its responsibilities. The Canadian Government has been more responsive to Commission needs.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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