The Quality Assurance Oversight Team (QAOT) is a multi-agency team comprised of standing members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Florida Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The USACE and SFWMD are the lead agencies.
The QAOT is governed by Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) Guidance Memorandum 41.01 which was adopted by the CERP Design Coordination Team (DCT) on September 17, 2010. The QAOT is responsible for providing guidance and oversight on quality assurance and quality control issues for CERP projects and programs (including RECOVER). Organizationally the QAOT reports to the DCT. In order for CERP projects and programs to provide quality and defensible environmental data, the Quality Assurance Systems Requirements (QASR) manual was created to give guidance regarding QA/QC procedures for typical environmental sampling and data gathering activities for CERP monitoring.
It is the role of the QAOT to provide quality assurance (QA) guidance at the program level to ensure data quality which is particularly critical and challenging because data used for CERP are collected by many organizations for projects and programs whose monitoring activities may have different objectives. The data collected for CERP can be merged to generate an overall picture of the current state of the Everglades system, and to track the ecological and hydrologic improvements that result from CERP projects. Programmatic data quality can be achieved by systematically incorporating quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) into every aspect of data collection.