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GAO assessed the potential reliability of the data elements that the five land management agencies (Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Park Service (NPS) in the Department of the Interior, and the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture) collected and determined that less than half of the data elements stored in a primary agency data system were potentially reliable. Generally, data elements were assessed as potentially reliable when information about the completeness and accuracy of a specific data element provided high assurance of its reliability.
The report noted that GAO assessed the potential reliability of these data elements for only a given period of time, and additional analysis would be needed to determine the reliability of specific data elements for specific purposes. Among the reasons some of these data were assessed to be potentially unreliable were insufficient information about the accuracy and completeness of data elements and lack of internal controls for data quality.