An IG review has found the EPA “could not fully demonstrate that its Lean Government Initiative is operating as intended.”

The initiative was launched in 2014 to identify and eliminate waste in agency processes and “to meet these objectives, the EPA dedicated significant resources—including contract and staff support—to apply Lean methodologies and educate the workforce about Lean,” a report said.

However, it said the implementation suffers from shortcomings “such as identifying and tracking Lean projects to gauge progress and costs, as well as leading and monitoring the Lean initiative agencywide. Because these controls have not been fully implemented, Lean has not been institutionalized at the EPA. These internal controls must be improved before the agency can fully maximize the application of Lean practices and ensure that it is not wasting resources by failing to create efficiencies.”

It called for improvements including in: the selection identification and tracking of projects; development of a cohesive strategy; monitoring progress including cost metrics; and consistent training.

The EPA concurred and said it has started a new automated tracking system to “simplify information submissions, summarize work, and provide an understanding of project activity across EPA and in the states.”