Strategic Plan: Part 2
EPA: SWOT Analysis
Strengths. Despite the threats posed to EPA by potential funding tax cuts, the agency receives substantial funding from the federal government while at the same time, generating money from its regulatory activities, such as licensing. For the financial year 2019, EPA’s budget included $2.3 billion and $20 million for the State Revolving Funds and water infrastructure (EPA, 2019). With these and additional funds, EPA is a position to implement its critical programs throughout the U.S. The other strength revolves around the fact that EPA remains permitted by a wide range of legislations to ensure proper regulation of air, water, as well as land discharges. The laws in question, including the Inspector General Act (IGA) of 1978, allows the agency to issue formal consents (EPA, 2015). These permissions go a long way in regulating any forms of waste management, such as recycling.
Weaknesses. The main shortcoming of EPA is mismanagement of public funds and unaccountability. In particular, several fraud cases have been reported, with the organization’s staff and management awarding suspicious tenders to companies. For instance, up to six different organizations have so far been funded by EPA to conduct studies on climate change (Gompper, 2016; Brady, 2017). This is a wastage of public money; one or two firms can comprehensively undertake the task with reduced spending, which means a lack of high-level transparency.
Opportunities. The EPA should use advanced technologies and resources to ensure improved transparency in its operations. As mentioned above, the organization’s main weakness revolves around the lack of accountability because individual employees remain overprotected by the various civil service laws. In this respect, the agency should focus on the optimal utilization of information and communication technology to ensure the interested public gain access to its activities and data necessary for decision making. Consequently, with this information, the organization would be in a position to regain public trust and much-needed support.
The agency should prioritize working closely with other key players regarding environmental protection, including the country’s meteorological office. By doing so, the organization could give the public and local, federal, and state governments timely alerts about environmental hazards, such as floods. Moreover, high-level coordination between the agency and telecom firms with broad consumer bases would help facilitate flood and related warnings. In other words, individual American residents and citizens would access reliable information from their mobile phones and other media platforms. Concisely, as a public sector organization, Meyer and Leixnering (2015) would argue that EPA’s opportunity relies on its ability to create and maintain a positive relationship with the general public.
Threats. One of the main threats to the sustainability and effectiveness of EPA is climate change. As the world experiences significant differences in climatic conditions, the U.S. is not exempted because the country has industries, which play a central role in environmental pollution. These changes are fast, making it considerably difficult for the agency to predict floods and issue timely and accurate warnings, in addition to responding to activities that contribute to environmental degradation and poor health.
The other threat involves the agency’s reduced capacity due to small budget allocations. Under Trump’s administration, EPA, and other regulatory agencies in the country would see massive cuts in their funding. For fiscal 2021, EPA would have its budget allocation slashed by up to 27 percent, receiving $27 billion (Chemnick & Frank, 2020). As a result, the organization would be compelled to reduce the number of its employees by approximately 11 percent, which would be the lowest possible level since 1985. With inadequate funding, EPA’s capacity to address the ever-changing environmental and health concerns would be reduced.
Internal and External Stakeholders
The various internal and external organisational stakeholders, including EPA employees, federal, local, and state governments, legislators or policymakers, and the American republic, would play a leading role in influencing the plan’s development. First, implementing any given program relies on a great deal of federal funding (EPA, 2019). In this respect, the proposed plan would consider the availability of funds. Key elements to take into consideration would comprise the impact of reduced funding from the federal government. Moreover, the state and local governments would serve as vital players in ensuring the plan’s recommendations are enforced at the grass root levels.
The EPA employees, including the managers and their subordinates, would work in teams to realise each of the strategic plan’s goals. In this sense, their commitment is a factor to consider when it comes to successfully implementing the strategic plan (EPA, 2015). On the same note, any form of resistance to the proposed changes would go a long way in hampering the plan’s adoption. Political representatives and the general republic would influence decision-making by introducing stringent or relaxed regulatory legislation and presenting their views on what should best serve their interests.
Brady, D. (2017). EPA spending almost $25,000 to install a secure phone booth for Scott Pruitt. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/26/epa-spending-almost-25000-to-install-a-secure-phone-booth-for-scott-pruitt/?utm_term=.2785a37e59b5
Chemnick, J. & Frank, T. (2020). Climate change once again left out of Trump’s federal budget. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-once-again-left-out-of-trumps-federal-budget/
Dillon, L. et al. (2018). The Environmental Protection Agency in the early Trump administration: Prelude to regulatory capture. American Journal of Public Health, 108(2), S89-S94.
EPA. (2015). Strategic plan. https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/epa_oig_strategic_plan_2012-2016.pdf
EPA. (2019). FY 2019: EPA budget in brief. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-02/documents/fy-2019-epa-bib.pdf
Gompper, S. (2016). Uncovering misconduct at the EPA. http://www.freedomworks.org/content/uncovering-misconduct-epa
Meyer, R. & Leixnering, S. (2015). Public sector organizations. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences.