The U.S. Department of Interior has increased its oversight of discretionary grant allocations and cooperative agreements made by its various bureaus.
According to a Dec. 28 memorandum, all discretionary funding of $50,000 or more to be granted for land acquisitions, colleges and universities or “to a non-profit organization that can legally engage in advocacy” must now be reviewed by Steve Howke, senior adviser to the assistant secretary of policy, management and budget. This memorandum outlines similar executive oversight measures for all discretionary spending over $250,000.
An identical policy was put in place for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last fall.
Critics claim this policy will likely impact hundreds of millions of dollars in allocations made by DOI each year and could reduce funding for scientific research, conservation advocacy, and land preservation.