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GAO to investigate royalty collection at DOI

The Government Accountability Office will study the oil and gas royalty collection system at the Interior Department amid reports of billions of dollars in lost revenues.

The study was requested by Rep. Tom Davis (R-California) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) of the House Government Reform Committee. The two lawmakers have held hearings into what they labeled a culture of irresponsibility and a lack of accountability at Interior.

"They don�t know how much oil is coming out of the ground," Issa told The New York Times. "If an oil company were to give them the right number, they would take it. If they were to give them the wrong number, they would take it."

The Mineral Management Service is responsible for collecting revenues for oil and gas development on public and Indian lands. Issa says the agency's numbers don't add up.

The lawmakers didn't say whether the study will look into the Indian side of MMS. They have mostly focused on a potential $10 billion loss in oil and gas royalties on public lands.

Get the Story:
U.S. Agency to Review Oil Royalties (The New York Times 11/2)
Press Release: Davis and Issa Announce Government Accountability Office Investigation of MMS Royalty Collection System (House Government Reform Committee 11/1)

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